How “Science” Counts Bears

Please, please, please read this.
It’s applicable to almost everything Scientists predict or “guess” at.
It should leave you with the question… If “guessing” or “assuming” is required, then why not guess or assume the outcome which best fits consciously, or unconsciously, desired outcome?
Remember, Bias is everywhere. It is unavoidable.
Where it should not be is in Science. But when your next years funding depends on a certain outcome…

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Jim Steele, director emeritus, San Francisco State University

The Inuit claim “it is the time of the most polar bears.” By synthesizing their community’s observations they have demonstrated a greater accuracy counting Bowhead whales and polar bears than the models of credentialed scientists. To estimate correctly, it takes a village. In contrast the “mark and recapture” study, which claimed the polar bears along South Beaufort Sea were victims of catastrophic global warming and threatened with extinction, relied on the subjective decisions of a handful of modelers.

In mark and recapture studies, the estimate of population abundance is skewed by the estimate of survival. For example, acknowledging the great uncertainty in his calculations of survival, in his earlier studies polar beat expert Steven Amstrup reported three different population estimates for bears along the South Beaufort Sea. If he assumed the adult bears had an 82% chance of surviving…

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About Mike

Background is in Media with a little History Major thrown in just to be annoying. View all posts by Mike

2 responses to “How “Science” Counts Bears

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