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  1. Last 7 days
    1. and 38 governments.

      The idea that 38 governments were able to have input into the scientific report increases the potential for bias and or political pressure being applied to a scientific report.

    1. A radiative forcing is something that can usually not be observed, but provides a simple quantitative basis for comparing the response in global mean temperature to different imposed agents.

      Can not be observed = not science This is purely based on a mathematical model which may, or may not be, correct. If it is anything like many of the predictions we've seen, such as no snow in the Australian Alps by now, then it maybe somewhat unreliable.

  2. Sep 2019
    1. However, many of us are not fully aware of our values, and as a result can at times think, say and do things that are not in alignment.

      Possibly we do something out of alignment with our values, or possibly we don't fully understand our values and that we may have a value, such as self-protection, that we don't wish to acknowledge.

    1. The bill also contains appropriate confidentiality and privacy controls to prevent unreasonable disclosure of this information.

      An accuser can make a false allegation and be provided complete anonymity even though the accused persons life is left in ruins without the benefit of anonymity.

    1. rule based system

      This is a very predominant misunderstanding of Christianity which says that we are not "under the law", the rules. It is about a personal dynamic relationship with God.

    2. I might add that I also think of religion as a rule based system of groupthink that produces strong convictions in the absence of strong evidence.

      That is not a definition, that is an indictment.

    1. The Family First Party

      Family First doesn't even exist anymore so not a great example.Their climate policy opposed the Carbon Tax, as did the ALP and the LNP at that point and to have an enquiry into climate change that was prepared to listen to both sides (i.e. science, not propaganda).

    2. church leaders are often in the company of prominent Liberal Party

      Surprise! The liberals (ALP) are primarily socialist and typically advocate against Christian values, so it is no surprise that church leaders are primarily on the right of the political spectrum.

    3. capitalism

      So now she is branding all capitalists anti-climate change. I guess that makes sense if climate change is a socialist agenda to destroy capitalism. Otherwise not sure what the intent is in this point.

    4. Human responsibility for ecological issues does not enter into their interpretation of how best to care for God’s creation.

      Given that man was charged with stewardship of the creation, I'm not quite sure how the author comes to this conclusion.

    5. they appear to support the view that God will take care of the climate.

      Justification? "Appear to support"

    6. Lucas Jacometti,

      One pastor, one sermon.

    7. while the river metaphor implies that environmental phenomena exist as all-encompassing reminders of God’s love for his people.

      I really don't think the lyrics were applying to a literal river any more than they do in many lyrics and pieces of poetry written by Christians and non-Christians alike over centuries.

    8. Pringle implies that humans are the pinnacle of God’s creation

      This is the typical Christian view across all denominations and is a logical conclusion of a Creation and of the Genesis account.

    9. Pentecostals and Protestants from the smallest Protestant denominations and independent churches who stand out as being least likely to hold the view that climate change is anthropogenic.

      So individuals from the smaller churches, ie Not Hillsong, are less likely to believe in anthropogenic climate change.

    10. These Christian churches emphasise receipt of spiritual gifts as evidence of salvation

      What is the source for this claim. I believe it to be incorrect.

    11. As one of the fastest growing Christian denominations on the globe, Pentecostal and Charismatic churches are now formulating theological positions on anthropogenic climate change. Australian neo-Pentecostal churches

      Let's just grab all the terms Pentecostal, Charismatic and Neo-pentecostal and try and mash them into one indeterminate lump.

    12. evident

      Written from the perspective of a #ClimateAlarmist.

    13. By Mairead Shanahan

      What is Mairead's background, affiliations and attitudes to Christianity?

    14. neo-Pentecostal

      Charismatic would actually be a better term, but not quite emotive since the PM has been labelled Pentecostal by the media.

    1. “Wanting students to be able to ‘analyse, synthesise and evaluate’ information sounds like a reasonable goal,” writes Daniel Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia. “But analysis, synthesis, and evaluation mean different things in different disciplines.”

      That seems like a rather futile point. Just because they are applied or interpreted differently in different disciplines doesn't mean that the core skills can't be taught uniquely and then students taught how to apply them within the context of the respective discipline.

    1. need for more experienced teachers to take on more of these temporary positions.

      Encouraging more experienced teachers to work as relief teachers would be a possible solution as well as hiring permanent relief teachers to operate at a school or group of schools.

    2. "It's just an atrocious way for people to start their career. It's a discouraging position that gives them incentive to hide the problems they're having rather than seek support, because they think it will risk their chances of getting hired."

      This article continues to jump from issue to issue and context (global to local) to context without actually providing justification for its claims. The issue here is support of casual teachers and hiring practices in schools. Should we be working on merit based interviews for graduates, or appointed positions or similar solutions.

    3. "That means we've got our most vulnerable teachers teaching our most vulnerable students. What does that say about our education system?" she said.

      More hyperbole. Teachers have a right to apply to "better" schools and as they develop more experience they are more likely to achieve that objective, meaning that newer teachers will, more typically, be assigned to more difficult schools.

    4. If you're not supporting beginning teachers and helping them to develop well over their first few years, they're less likely to become quality teachers,"

      So the issue, again, appears to be support that is provided to casual teachers. Schools should have "regular" casuals who are treated like staff. Where there is data to show sufficient need for casuals to hire a permanent relief teacher then this should be included in staffing formulas.

    5. At least 72 per cent of new teachers are beginning their careers in temporary positions in Australia, a trend that will significantly affect the quality of the teaching workforce.

      This is not necessarily an issue as long as these teachers are receiving the support they need. Support levels for all casual teachers need reviewing. Each casual teacher needs to be assigned to a school (in conjunction with the the choice by the teacher) who is responsible to ensure the staff member is obtaining the appropriate support and supervision.

    6. casualisation of teachers rises

      If retention falls, then casualisation will rise. The paper is yet to establish (may do later) that there is an issue with casualisation.

    7. 'Impending crisis': 72 per cent of new teachers are in insecure roles

      The question with this headline is to exactly what point the headline is trying to make.

      What basis does it have for "impending crisis". If 72% of new teachers can't get permanent positions does that mean we are training too many new teachers (i.e. are there too many places available for lower performing students at university?).

    1. 2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.
    2. Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.

      This would seem to provide issues with requiring migrants to reside in a certain location in Australia.

    3. shall not be carried out on pregnant women.

      It is interesting to note that a pregnant woman cannot be subject to the death penalty, presumably because the baby would also by necessity be subject to the death penalty, i,e. the unborn baby is a human being.

    4. Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life

      How is "human being" defined and how does this relate to abortion?

    1. individualism versus collectivism

      This is a very relevant concept in Australia, at present, where the Indigenous culture is predominantly collectivism, whereas the non-Indigenous culture is predominantly individualism.

    1. Nor can it be doubted that some complainants in cases involving sexual abuse, including of children, have fabricated their allegations. Just within the past few weeks, a major scandal involving false allegations of that kind has erupted in England, and received enormous publicity.

      Reference to the fact that there are accusers who fabricate evidence.

    2. Judges often, in their charges to juries, warn of the dangers of giving too much weight to this factor, and certainly more weight than it should properly bear.

      Did the judge at trial give this warning to the jury?

    3. based upon matters which include, for example, demeanour

      Using demeanour to assess credibility has been proven to be unreliable and biased.

    4. 896 The starting point in applying the M test, in this case, must be an independent assessment of the complainant’s credibility and reliability.

      This is the potential issue with M. In the absence of any other evidence, the justices and the jury are simply not capable of assessing the complainant's credibility and reliability (except to the negative).

    5. 890

      It is not the defence's responsibility to be able to determine whether the complainant is lying or deluded. It is the prosecutions case to prove that it actually did happen, not that it could have happened, beyond reasonable doubt.

    6. That at least established that he had been present at the Cathedral on the date nominated.

      How is the fact that he was present at the Cathedral evidence of sexual assault?

    7. However, none of these so called ‘obstacles’ to conviction were intended to be considered entirely in isolation.

      The possibility of one of these 13 is so low that the probability of all 13 simultaneously happening, which is what would have been required, must be assumed to be as close to impossible as physically possible in a court of law.

    8. That description was said to be consistent with the complainant’s overall version of events.

      The argument of consistency doesn't seem to establish anything evidentiary because there is no dispute that the complainant was actually in the processional and was familiar with the cathedral.

    9. MR RICHTER: Or trying to overtake other clerics and altar servers and pushing his way into the throng — or a throng of choristers?

      This is just absurd questioning, which shows that the prosecutor deliberately or otherwise has no respect for the order of processional.

    10. Mr Gibson proffered yet another alternative theory. He submitted that the applicant’s practice of standing on the steps of the Cathedral immediately after Sunday solemn Mass might not have commenced in December 1996, but might have begun much later, in 1997. 702 In support of that particular variant of the prosecution case, Mr Gibson reminded the jury that Portelli had acknowledged that early on in the applicant’s tenure, ‘there were a number of bugs in the system that needed ironing out.’ He invited them to treat that answer as supporting his submission that the practice of remaining on the steps did not begin until significantly later in the applicant’s tenure as Archbishop.

      Gibson is trying to cast "reasonable doubt" on the defences case, which is a reverse onus of proof. He has to establish beyond reasonable doubt on his own case.

    11. 686 It was submitted before this Court that, where the defence puts forward an alibi, or its equivalent, it is not for the jury to ask themselves whether they accept that alibi to be true. The law requires that they must acquit unless satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the alibi has been entirely disproved.[193] The onus rests upon the prosecution wholly to negate the alibi. In order to do so, the prosecution must eliminate even the ‘reasonable possibility’ that the alibi might be true.

      The requirement for the prosecution to disprove the alibi (of the front steps).

    12. Connor’s diary suddenly became available

      Why was the diary previously unavailable? Were there any questions as to its authenticity?

    13. There are a number of instances, to which reference has been made, where notwithstanding the apparent credibility of a complainant in relation to an allegation of sexual abuse, the countervailing circumstances, including any defence evidence, have led the High Court to quash the conviction, and enter a verdict of acquittal.

      An apparently credible complainant is not sufficient to prove beyond reasonable doubt.

    14. If the evidence, upon the record itself, contains discrepancies, displays inadequacies, is tainted or otherwise lacks probative force in such a way as to lead the court of criminal appeal to conclude that, even making full allowance for the advantages enjoyed by the jury, there is a significant possibility that an innocent person has been convicted, then the court is bound to act and to set aside a verdict based upon that evidence.

      M implies that if the evidence contains "discrepancies, displays inadequacies" ..in such a way as to be "a significant possibility that an innocent person has been convicted, then the court is bound to act and to set aside a verdict based upon that evidence."

      NB: Significant possibility an innocent man has been convicted.

    15. In most cases a doubt experienced by an appellate court will be a doubt which a jury ought also to have experienced.

      So this implies that the other two justices experienced no doubt (beyond reasonable) in their own minds in relation to the case. It will be interesting to go back and read their responses in more detail.

    16. 590 The test to be applied when dealing with this ground was set out by the High Court in M v The Queen (‘M’).[147]

      M v The Queen is the High Court's judgement that the appeal court judges rely on for the process in assessing the appeal.

    17. 584 It can be seen from this summary of the evidence given at trial that, as I have now said a number of times, the prosecution case was based entirely upon the complainant’s evidence. Despite the fact that there was no independent support for the complainant’s account, the prosecution relied upon his credibility and reliability in order to satisfy the jury, beyond reasonable doubt, of the applicant’s guilt.

      The jury and the justices relied upon the apparent credibility of the witness with no other supporting evidence.

    18. 543 When asked whether it was possible for a couple of choristers to separate, unnoticed from the procession, he said ‘not with 10 or so adults at the back, observing, being able to see in front of them.’ He remarked upon the distinctive choir dress worn by the boys. When Mr Gibson asked him whether he allowed for the possibility that two boys might break away, unnoticed, he said that he did not think that could happen. It had never occurred, so far as he was aware.

      Contradicting testimony

    19. 538 He was asked whether he had ever seen the applicant robed without being in the company of Portelli. His recollection was that they were always together. He described Portelli as the applicant’s ‘bodyguard’, ‘shadowing’ him at every turn. He recalled the applicant stopping at the front steps to the Cathedral after Mass, and then not seeing him again as the procession kept going around the corner, along the south side of the Cathedral. He also recalled seeing the applicant still robed, standing at the front steps, and talking to parishioners, after he himself had de-vested. That would have been 10 or 15 minutes after Mass.

      Contradicting evidence by another choir boy.

    1. M. v THE QUEEN [1994] HCA 63; (1994) 181 CLR 487, (1994) 126 ALR 325, (1994) 69 ALJR 83

      This is the case from the High Court that appeal court judges rely upon for the process of how to review an appeal.

  3. Aug 2019
    1. A’s knowledge of such details is said to confirm the truth of his statement that he was there when the alleged offending took place

      This doesn't confirm that he was there when the alleged offending took place, but that he had been around the cathedral and was familiar with its layout.

    2. step back for a moment and simply think about the overall impression that you were left with by [A’s] evidence when it finished ...

      This is hardly a scientific nor accurate way to determine if someone is telling the truth.

    3. As A was walking between the entry to the Priests’ Sacristy and the Archbishop’s Sacristy, Cardinal  Pell  pushed himself up against A on a wall

      Possibility? Many other adults between the victim and Pell and other choristers around as well.

    4. He saw that B’s face looked terrified.

      Where abouts was A? If he could see his face well enough to see that he was terrified, then it could hardly be buried in the flowing robes that Pell was still allegedly wearing.

    5. He was struggling. A could see Cardinal  Pell ’s hands around the back of B’s head

      It is not difficult to twist out of someone just holding the back of his head.

    6. A had no recollection of ever being in this room before

      He changed this account under cross-examination.

    7. jury has had the benefit of having seen and heard the witnesses

      It is interesting to note that in this occasion the jury had not had the advantage of seeing the witness as they had only watched a video, the same recording that the justices watched.

    8. struggling,

      13 year old boy struggling with a 50 year old man? You would think he should have easily been able to get away from his hold.

    9. However, he reaffirmed that the second incident had taken place before Christmas of that year.

      Yet the prosecution decides that the second event didn't occur until February the following year, as otherwise the account was impossible.

    10. He acknowledged that evidence of that nature might be difficult to reconcile with the complainant’s account of how the applicant had managed to ‘manoeuvre’ those robes, so as to expose his penis.

      The prosecutor doesn't try and explain how the robes could be moved. He seems to accept that this was not the case.

    11. At a point somewhere between the doorway to the Priests’ Sacristy and the doorway to the Archbishop’s Sacristy, the applicant suddenly rushed at the complainant, and pushed him forcefully against the wall.

      There would have been a number of adults between Pell and the boy as well as possibly a number of other boys. This just does not make sense, let alone seem likely to have happened beyond reasonable doubt.

    12. The complainant would say that the applicant approached the boys and then ‘proceeded to manoeuvre his robes so as to pull out his penis.’

      This just seems so unlikely. No allegation of grooming or any other inappropriate contact straight to just pulling his penis out.

    13. the applicant entered

      This implies that Pell must have spoken to people out the front before returning to the sacristy to have given the boys time to "poke around".

    14. Accordingly, he was forced to vest and de-vest in the Priests’ Sacristy.

      Pell was where he was meant to be. The boys allege that they were not where they were meant to be.

    15. They slipped away from the procession, once it became clear that the choir were no longer in the public gaze.

      Given that there were adult members of the processing following the boys, how could they slip away from the processing, still in their choir robes, without being noticed?

    1. The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), for example, campaigns against blasphemy laws

      It is interesting to see they campaign against laws against criticising religion, do they take the same approach with laws against criticising sexuality?

    1. ‘A just society is a society that if you knew everything about it, you’d be willing to enter it in a random place.’

      Is that realistic? Is this equality of outcome?

    1. it is a reason only for someone who accepts this specific religious belief.

      Actually, that is not correct. For a religious person life is sacred regardless of what anyone else may believe.

    1. Typically, humanists believe we should consider the potential consequences of our actions. They won’t simply take a rule or commandment for granted, particularly if it appears to lead to potential harm. Lying, for example, is generally to be disapproved of. However, it may, in some circumstances, be acceptable if one is doing it to protect somebody (or perhaps if an honest opinion of your friend’s cooking might hurt their feelings).

      Ends justifies the means?

    2. Like most people, humanists recognise the law and think it should be obeyed.

      Is this unquestioning obedience? Or should only be obeyed where reasonable?

    1. Despite the many differences between people, there is still considerable agreement about what human beings value.

      Although, there is huge discrepancy about what those values mean and how they work out in practice.

    2. There is a great deal of evidence that many of our values and needs are shared with other human beings around the world.

      If we were all created by a God and codified with his goodness this would be expected. Wouldn't we expect, based on evolution, that different societies should have evolved differently?

    3. ‘When the trustful child becomes a critical adolescent. He may then cast off all his religious beliefs; and, if his moral training has been closely tied up with religion, it is more than possible that the moral beliefs will go too…’

      Surely this is also true for those who are brought up without religious beliefs. When we realise that our parents weren't right after all, we would tend to jettison their belief system, whatever that may have been, and search for our own.

    1. We have seen

      Actually, we haven't seen, we have postulated.

    2. A final defence is to say that god does not just command what is good and what is not, but simply ‘is good’. God is the moral yardstick himself. If one is here defining ‘god’ as ‘the good’, as some objective moral standard, then, if we accept there is such a standard, we are obliged to admit this ‘god’ exists. However, there is little here to persuade the atheist that this ‘god’ is anything other than an alternative word for what he or she might simply call ‘good’ (and certainly little to persuade them that this ‘god’ has any of the other features often attributed to it by religious believers).

      Just because the atheist believes God doesn't exist doesn't invalidate the argument. If God does exist, then he could be good and therefore there could be an absolute moral standard, being God himself.

    3. If (2) is true, that god commands certain things because they are good, then we appear to have accepted that there are standards or right and wrong which are independent of god’s will. God is just following these standards when he commands us what to do. We therefore have an independent moral yardstick that means morality can exist without the need for a god.

      Again, God could declare things to be good because he knows what is good, because he is good. Therefore, the standard is God himself.

    4. If (1) is true, that things are good because god says that they are good, then morality would still appear to be arbitrary. If god had commanded something different, such as murdering the innocent, then murdering the innocent would be good. This does not appear satisfactory. There is surely something wrong about murdering the innocent, regardless of whether god says we should do so or not.

      The problem with this logic is that God could not declare something to be good that was not good.

    1. and that even the values of non-religious people have been absorbed from the religious history around them

      Was interesting to note that some humanists referred to the golden rule as the basis for their morality. I wonder if they realise that came from the New Testament?

    2. if the members are friendly and co-operative than if they are hostile and resentful

      Does this mean that the requirement to be friendly and co-operative only applies to members of the tribe?

    1. The reward system in the brain can be triggered by the anticipation of all kinds of rewards, from points or praise.

      This is interesting. The reward system is triggered by the anticipation of the reward, not the actual reward itself.

    1. The history of the scientific discovery of climate change began in the early 19th century when ice ages and other natural changes in paleoclimate were first suspected and the natural greenhouse effect first identified. In the late 19th century, scientists first argued that human emissions of greenhouse gases could change the climate. Many other theories of climate change were advanced, involving forces from volcanism to solar variation. In the 1960s, the warming effect of carbon dioxide gas became increasingly convincing. Some scientists also pointed out that human activities that generated atmospheric aerosols (e.g., "pollution") could have cooling effects as well. During the 1970s, scientific opinion increasingly favored the warming viewpoint. By the 1990s, as a result of improving fidelity of computer models and observational work confirming the Milankovitch theory of the ice ages, a consensus position formed: greenhouse gases were deeply involved in most climate changes and human-caused emissions were bringing discernible global warming. Since the 1990s, scientific research on climate change has included multiple disciplines and has expanded. Research has expanded our understanding of causal relations, links with historic data and ability to model climate change numerically. Research during this period has been summarized in the Assessment Reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions, or in the distribution of weather around the average conditions (such as more or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change is caused by factors that include oceanic processes (such as oceanic circulation), biotic processes (e.g., plants), variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate tectonics and volcanic eruptions, and human-induced alterations of the natural world. The latter effect is currently causing global warming, and "climate change" is often used to describe human-specific impacts.

      This section needs citations included.

    1. far-right figures

      Why does news.com.au refer to the conservative speakers as "far-right". What is the equivalent left term and when does it get used? #NewsBias?

    2. she came down to hear views that were not being heard in the mainstream media.
    3. Former prime minister Tony Abbott condemned abortion as “death on demand” as he addressed the crowd at the controversial Conservative Political Action Conference in Sydney today, warning of “morally shocking” developments in Western society.

      Life used to be sacrosanct. Then came #abortion - killing unborn babies (including sex selection and termination of the disabled) Then comes #euthanasia - killing people who are suffering Then comes #assistedsuicide Then comes people being made to feel they are a burden or the state just deciding that on their behalf.