When I said that comment was an “aside,” I meant it was not directed specifically at you.
Fair enough, I am often misunderstood in the same manner.
I’ve read your stories here and enjoyed them. However, your career was spent as an executive working for corporations (and occasionally yourself), where something called “profit” carries far more weight than that thing we call “truth.” For example, take your story in the other thread about the incorrect consensus on the North Sea oilfields. Do you think it still would have happened if there were no jobs or profits on the line? I doubt it.
I don’t mean this disparagingly, but it amazes me how cartoonish the view of industry and the oil industry in particular is. I think you don’t understand industry, especially the oil industry at all. Profit can’t be made if someone does dishonest things in the creation of their prospects. I certainly won’t say everyone is an angel in the industry, sadly many aren’t but the big companies tend to be far more ethical than people want to give them credit for.Most of the problems I have seen are among the small independents and solo practicioners and that is where my examples come from.
Here is why dishonesty means profit won’t happen, taken from personal experience and knowledge. Generally in exploration 1 well in 3 is a success,and the successful well must pay for the dry holes, or we lose money. Now this is probabilistic success rate, any 3 wells may be all dry holes or all successes, but over the long term that is the stat. Now, lets say a geologist wants to sell a well and get a ‘finders fee’ but there is a dry hole already in the prospect? They can erase it from the map and then the company that buys it will drill a dry hole, increasing the loss of money. I have seen that.
We used to get our seismic on film and they had surface location markings on the top and time axes on the sides. One guy actually cut a seismic line from somewhere else, and inserted it into the location markers for where we drilled. I had been young and naive when this happened to me. I got suckered and my client drilled a dry hole because of that.
In 2005, One guy working the east coast offshore was trying to sell some prospects there saying that there had been 5 ‘significant discoveries’ there. It just so happened that I was Area Geophysicist for the East Coast from 1981-1984 and I knew the following. Tiny traces of hydrocarbons were found; all wells were dry holes and there were no discoveries. I informed management of the issue and they corrected the situation. If we had believed him we could have spent $300 million dollars drilling a lie. No one wants that. we have enough trouble being successful and making a profit when we do everything correctly.
No, honesty is quite important in the oil industry to obtaining the goal of making a profit. We always discussed the pros and cons of every prospect.
Hmmm. You do realize that BioLogos was founded by Dr. Francis Collins, former head of the Human Genome Project and current director of the National Institutes of Health? He wrote a little book called The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.
Yes, I am aware of that, and still the vast majority of biologists remain atheist because (and I have read the book), Our statement that we believe God was involved in evolution (and I believe that too) lacks any observational evidence. It is a belief only. Just because we Christians believe that, doesn’t mean we have a good case to make that it was actually so. I believe in God; an Atheist doesn’t believe in God. How do we decide the difference? While I don’t think design in biology works because of evolution, it is always curious to me that we Christians are so condemnatory of those who are at least trying to see if biology might be different under the assumption that God is involve. If God is involved in evolution, I can’t think of anything physical he did with certainty and I doubt anyone else can as well. God is a useless assumption to the explanations of Biology. So, have I missed something?
I hear what you’re saying about that other crew, but the New Atheists aren’t so new anymore. At the moment, Jordan Peterson is kicking them around the ring, and he isn’t even a Christian.
I used to debate with atheists a lot, but I have been out of the arena for a while. I will have to look up Mr. Peterson.
what am I to tell my friend when he said, “It just doesn’t look like Christianity is real!” Am I to agree with him and tell him believe anyway? sheesh, that won’t work; its like throwing an anchor to a drowning man.
I know. Scientists aren’t the only ones who struggle to reconcile science with faith. High school dropouts struggle just as much. Why do you think BioLogos exists? Hang around awhile and help us help them.
I would, but my experience so far is that if anyone suggests God might have done something real in this world, friendly fire comes his way. If I am honest with myself, I can’t tell someone that there is no reason to believe God is involved in biology or other areas of science when there is nothing physical to point to? I might as well say little invisible pink faeries are involved in evolution. It is the fact that one can make a case for the soul in physics that makes me talk about that. I don’t want to say, there is no physical evidence of God in this science, but believe me He was involved. Im not that kind of guy.
Edited to add: doing the above would be like me telling investors, drill here. Trust me. I won’t show you any data supporting my view that you should drill here. Just believe.
Think I could sell the well? No way in a word that rhymes with well!
I agree. The system is not perfect. Never said it was. Personally, my first test for biased research is to see who’s funding it. Profit, remember? Pharma research is particularly subject to problems. And, of course, ego and reputation are equally powerful intoxicants, so we cannot simply trust everything that finds its way into a scientific journal.
Still, the simple fact that a leading scientific journal published that expose of “fake science” points to the difference between scientific and corporate research. When scientists veer away from facts, the truth eventually wins out. When corporations abandon reality, the truth rarely surfaces.
But, enough speculation from amateurs like myself. I would welcome comment from some working scientists, if they care to contribute.
I am retired now but was a working scientist and I have published in peer reviewed mainline science journals (not the top guys like Science and Nature, but still respectable ones). The above are my comments.