Skip to content

So how does it work?

February 14, 2011

Steven Novella over at NeuroLogica has a great post up about neural networks. But what really grabbed me was this:

I am often asked if we understand how the brain works, often phrased to imply a false dichotomy, a yes-or-no answer. Rather, we understand quite a bit about how the brain is organized, what functions it has and how they work and connect together, and we know quite a bit about brain physiology, biochemistry, and electrical function. But there is also a great deal we do not know – layers of complexity we have not yet sorted out. I would not say that the brain is a “mystery” – but rather that we understand a lot, but we also have much to discover.

This is precisely the problem with climate change. There is no “yes-or-no” answer. Climatology is a big, cross-disciplinary field. Just understanding the bits we can observe takes a whole bunch of different specialists. And understanding the effects? That takes it out into environmental science, agricultural science, ecology and evolution, geology, epidemiology, economics and politics…

The problem is that it’s easy to attack an idea when different pieces of the puzzle are held by different people.

(Incidentally, there is a great resource for all things climate at How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic)

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s