Jordan B Peterson denying that climate exist because climate scientist model it with a finite set of variables is simply wrong. Hard sciences use a finite set of variables and an infinite set of mathematical operations to model, approximate, and describe the world then comparing that to data from experiment or direct observation. Jordan B Psychologist like Jordan B Peterson cannot do this for a variety of reasons usually relating to ethics. The brain is fundamentally a complex system, but we can describe how neurons work, chemistry, and physics. Everything else emerges from those basic physical realities. For example, if one really wanted to know how the transgender brain works and prove it is a choice or not, in relation to genetics, one would need a set of identical transgender twins. Kill one examine their brain slice by slice under a microscope. Then transition the other fully, kill them, and do the same. Compare the slices for any changes. Clearly that would be a human rights violation. So, MRI’s and other indirect or nondestructive means are used.

With climate science the issues are similarly practicality of experimentation and ethics. Experiments in climate science are possible but doing them at a planet wide scale would be difficult. Instead, much like Astronomers climate scientist can simply watch for nature to perform the experiment. i.e. a volcano releasing gases and ash into the atmosphere during an eruption will modify the climate in a way beautifully predicted by their models.

Then there is the intersection with Astronomy. Astronomers can look at the planets of the solar system in detail. We know that adding greenhouse gases to an atmosphere of an Earth like planet will change the climate. We can see that on Venus.

Just when you thought that denying the germ theory of disease was the pinnacle of mount stupid, Joe Rogan allows Jordan B Peterson enough rope to hang himself from that peak.

Peterson claimed in his interview with Joe Rogan that there is no such thing as climate because climate is “everything” and they use a finite set of variables to describe it. Every physicist, chemist, biologist, or any mathematical scientist is facepalming at the esteemed psychologist. Physics can predict the bulk behavior of extremely complicated systems using as few as three thermodynamic variables. Physics can predict using four space-time variables the behavior of fundamental particles and fields. What is infinite is the mathematical functions that we apply to those variables.

If you need proof that physics, chemistry etc. succeed at this. Your computer you are reading this on is proof. Unless you think they work by magic. Your computer is a VERY complicated system and it’s basic functions are described by two logical values, true and false, 1 and 0, represented by voltages, and combined in different ways.

If you need proof of this for climate, and that climate at least exist… just compare Venus to Earth.

All of that comes from applying an infinite combination of complex mathematical operations to the finite sets of variables physical science uses. Jordan B Peterson is, as often happens to experts with big social media followings, out of his depth.

I will be interviewed by Eric Hunley of the Unstructured Podcast tomorrow on youtube.  Please check it out. 

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