Lewandowsky the Liar

There are many kinds of psychologist. Many, possibly most, of the academic kind, who do surveys or investigate human behaviour in the laboratory, have little time for psychoanalysts, who were the subject of my previous post . Academic psychologists consider psychoanalysis to be at best, unscientific, and at worst, embarrassing charlatanism.

Stephan Lewandowsky is one of the academic kind. He is also a liar, a fool, a charlatan and a fraud.

His latest scientific paper has been widely discussed, at

http://www.climate-resistance.org/2013/02/blognitive-dissonance.html

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/2/5/so-you-dont-have-to.html

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/05/more-shameless-conspiracy-theory-from-the-skeptical-science-smear-quest-team/

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/05/lewandowskys-bear-baiting-behavior/

http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/2013/02/lewandowsky-and-cook-lose-the-plot/

I’ve had a comment snipped at the latter site, presumably because it was considered libellous. I said:

“I agree with John Cook. You really should read the paper. You’ll learn a lot, Particularly from what is missing from the paper. You see, John and Stephan really are conspirators. They conspired together to put fake “denialist” comments on blogs. John says so in the private emails which were made public last March. John expresses several times his admiration for Stephan and the pleasure he takes in “poking the ants nest”. This was revealed in comments on the very blogs which are used as evidence in this latest paper. And they conspired to use the list of visitors to Skeptical Science to test out some of Stephan’s hypotheses. This is presumably the reason that the survey which is the basis for LOG12 was never advertised at Skeptical Science, despite the repeated assertions of the authors of this paper to the contrary.”

John Cook replied:

“Geoff, it’s a shame that Simon snipped your conspiracy theories from your comment (fortunately I was emailed a copy having subscribed to this comment thread so your efforts were not wasted). Have you posted your theories on your own blog? Can you provide URLs?”

to which the editor added:

[If Geoff has provided a link, it will be via his name in the comment. Continue this elsewhere please - Ed]

I wrote the following comment, which is now in moderation:

“I understand your reasons for snipping my comments. Evidence for my snipped assertions are in my comments at

http://www.bishop-hill.net/discussion/post/1904675

at (Jul 30, 2012 at 3:42 PM) and (Jul 30, 2012 at 5:09 PM)

and with a little more detail at

http://talkingclimate.org/are-climate-sceptics-more-likely-to-be-conspiracy-theorists/  

at (August 3, 2012 at 10:33 am)

John Cook has publicly accepted that the document from which the quotes attributed to him are taken is genuine.

Here are the quotes from John Cook on which I base my accusation of conspiracy. They come from the private internal mails at SkepticalScience between blog authors. (dates are US style)

“2010–10-3 “…then I got involved with Steve Lewandowsky and some of his cognitive colleagues who is very interested in the phenomena of science blogging and they’re planning to do some research into the subject that I’m going to help them with.”

2010–10-1  “…I must be spending too much time conversing with Steve Lewandowsky (cognitive scientist)…”

2010–10-8 ” …a while ago, I added a bias field to the user database and a bit of code so as comments came in, I could specify whether the user was skeptics or warmest/proAGW/mainstream (still haven’t found a satisfactory term for our side). I only assign bias if its obvious from the comment. I haven’t done anything with that data yet, I’m not even sure why I’m doing it other than my obsessive compulsion to collect data. The other day, Steve Lewandowsky (cognitive scientist) asked if I had any numbers on the ratio of skeptics to warmists so I dove into the database and counted up around 100 assigned skeptics and around 400 assigned warmists.”

2010–10-6  ” I’ve been having some intriguing conversations with Steve Lewandowsky who’s throwing cognitive experiment ideas at me to see what’s technically possible. Having a significantly sized group of people classified as skeptic or proAGW makes all sorts of interesting experiments possible.”

2010-11-25   “First up, I met with Steve Lewandowsky and some other cognitive scientists who are interested in the phenomenon of science blogging and how it’s being used to educate and communicate science. In particular, they wanted to test the impact of blog comments on how people processed information. Did a blog post with all negative comments have a different impact on how people retain information compared to a blog post with all positive comments So we sat down and designed an experiment to run on SkS to see if this has a discernible effect on blogs…”

2011–6-2 “What’s interesting is Steve Lewandowsky has done some research showing there is a high correlation between conspiracy theorists and climate deniers. This is a theme that could be explored further.”

2011-7-30 “…thanks for bringing up that research by Eckar (coauthored by Steve Lewandowsky who I’m doing the current SkS science blog experiment with).”

2011-10-3…One of those psychology boffins, Steve Lewandowsky, has been working me pretty hard. We’re writing a review paper on misinformation and there’s that experiment on the skeptic + warmist blog posts with comments. Both Steve and I were concerned about the skeptic post potentially turning participants into skeptics so Steve suggested I write a debrief that debunks my own post to give to participants after they do the experiment. Then Steve had the inspired idea last week to make the debriefing itself an experiment in measuring the effect of debunking people who receive skeptic information. So all that is keeping me pretty busy at the moment!”

2012-02-08 “FYI, part of the research I’m doing at UQ now is simulating science denial, in an effort to understand it and hence find a way to minimise it. I’m doing it using Bayes nets…  I couldn’t help speculating whether my science denial bayes nets might one day be potentially developed into a denier bot. Perhaps test drive it on the denialosphere as part of a denier Turing Test :-)

Or even more interesting (although I might struggle to get ethics approval), let loose our denier bot on warmist blogs, let it respond to the science based arguments with denial and see what happens. I must be hanging around Steve Lewandowsky too much, he loves poking ants nests with a stick because that idea is very appealing to me.

And I know what you’re thinking – I won’t let loose a denier bot on the SkS comment threads without warning you all first :-)”

2012-03-07 “Just thought of a possible new climate myth…

‘global warming is caused by continental drift’

It’s no dumber than some of the other myths floating around on the internet. Hmm, would be an interesting experiment if we worked this up into a technobabble, pseudo-credible explanation then tried to disseminate it through the denialosphere, tracking how quickly it spreads. Evil but interesting!

Man, I’ve been spending too much time with Steve Lewandowsky, I see everything now as a potential social experiment.”

Note that many of these were published without censorship at Adam Corner’s pro-warmist consensus site “talkingclimate”, but snipped at Australian Climate Madness.

I’ve just noticed something interesting. In the new paper, Lewandowsky and Cook defend themselves against the possible charge of bias (no!) by explaining that the choice of blog comments to analyse was not made by them (authors of the original paper) but by their fellow authors, (one of whom, Michael Hubble-Marriott, is the “Mike” who is responsible for the Watching the Deniers site. So that’s alright then). Relevant blogs were chosen by googling “Stephan Lewandowsky”. Note that John Cook in the quotes above calls him “Steve”, so they won’t turn up in any search.

[My main purpose in writing this quick post was to provide information to anyone linking from Australian Climate Madness. I’d just add quickly that in a comment at WUWT, and possibly elsewhere, I made a silly mistaken interpretation of the paper’s reference to me in table 3. I’ll correct this ASAP.]

Quick Update:

corrigenda:

- In a comment at WUWT I said that the paper accused me of “nefarious intent”. I’d got so carried away with the idea of being accused of being part of a conspiracy with Anthony Watts, Steve MacIntyre and Joanne Nova that I got it the wrong way round. I was being accused of accusing the authors of LOG12 of nefarious intent. I was also accused of “Nihilistic Skepticism”, “Must be Wrongism”, “No accidentism”, and “Unreflexive Counterfactual Thinking.”

- In a comment at the journal site frontiersin.org I said that manicbeancounter was the first to obtain the raw data to LOG12. In fact it was Katabasis. Manicbeancounter was the first, I think, to analyse the raw data.

Justifying  my accusations against Lewandowsky will take some time and involve trawling through an awful lot of blog comments. Here are a couple of clarifications to be going on with, necessary for anyone who didn’t follow the story as it unfolded during September last year.

Quick notes:

1) The initial paper, which is referred to in the second, metapaper as LOG12 is

“NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science” which appeared as a “Prepublication” in September 2012,  and still hasn’t been published. It’s available at

http://websites.psychology.uwa.edu.au/labs/cogscience/documents/LskyetalPsychScienceinPressClimateConspiracy.pdf

The second paper, Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation” was made available a few days ago at

http://www.frontiersin.org/Personality_Science_and_Individual_Differences/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00073/abstract

It was taken down today, probably because of the threat of libel action from Jeff Condon (“Jeff Id”). Following the authors’ technique, I propose combining the first syllables of the names of the two principle authors and calling it LEWCOrrhea2013 (“-rhea” = “flowing”, or “discharge) or LEWCO13 for short.

2) I’ve updated and expanded the original list of quotes from the SkepticalScience internal correspondence above to include some extracts which I didn’t quote on the original comment threads. In order to understand their significance, it’s necessary to bear in mind that the fieldwork for LOG12 was conducted in August  and September 2010. LOG12 claims that SkepticalScience was one of the blogs  which promoted the survey, and which furnished respondents. There is no record of the survey having been mentioned on the site or on the Google Wayback machine.  After I was told by a moderator at SkepticalScience that Cook was too busy to reply to me, Cook instigated a private email exchange, in which he finally admitted that he couldn’t remember exactly what he’d done, but supposed that he’d effaced the post, which he claimed to have put up at the end of August, 2010.

Read the above extracts from private exchanges between SkepticalScience authors after the supposed posting of the invitation to participate in the survey, and ask yourselves how could Cook possibly be referring to Lewandowsky in these terms if he had indeed posted an invitation to participate?

 

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38 Responses to Lewandowsky the Liar

  1. omnologos says:

    There is a massive problem with terminology. The “conspiracy theories” that should be the realm of psychology are the ones that involve hundreds if not thousands of people over many years. They inevitably come out of the minds of total nutters and have little relationship with Truth.

    OTOH it is perfectly normal for two, three, four, even 7 people to agree on a particular course of action without letting everybody else know. And if their actions betray such an agreement, it is perfectly normal for perfectly reasonably people to deduce/surmise that same agreement exists.

    I know Lew will never understand this. Faced with the choice between incompetence and malice, I always opt for incompetence.

  2. omnologos
    Agreed. I’d add that the expression “conspiracy theory” often means little more than “theory rejected by the consensus”. I like to give the example of the Turin Shroud. Here, the conspiracy theory is the consensus view, accepted by everyone from Ben Goldacre to the Vatican, when science, art history and Ockham’s Razor would all suggest that it is in fact the grave cloth of the Messiah. As an atheist and incorrigible sceptic, I find this strangely comforting.
    You say: “it is perfectly normal for two, three, four, even 7 people to agree on a particular course of action without letting everybody else know”. In normal use, there has to be something underhand or nefarious for it to count as a conspiracy. Arranging a secret surprise birthday party is not a conspiracy. Saying “I’ll review your paper if you’ll review mine” most certainly is, even if it’s not illegal. The climategate emails must contain dozens, if not hundreds, of examples of conspiracies.

  3. omnologos says:

    Furthermore, three people conspiring to stop a paper from being published are three people conspiring to stop a paper from being published, and nothing else. A ‘conspiracy theory’ has to be about something grander.

  4. David Walker says:

    Concerning the hilarious ‘Watching the Deniers’ blog Geoff, you may be interested to note that they harbour at least one full-blown conspiracy theorist amongst their contributors, and unlike their frothing anger at anyone who expresses even mild scepticism concerning AGW, the character ‘crank’ attracts no criticism whatsoever for his 9/11 and JFK conspiracy claims.

    Check contribution from the contributor ‘crank on this blog:

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/the-ages-sad-decline-promoting-911-truther-movie/

    Double standards or what!

  5. alexjc38 says:

    One thing that the tawdry “Lew paper” affair has amply demonstrated, I think, is the incompatibility of being a scientist and being an activist. The “NASA faked the moon landing” and the “Recursive fury” material is, basically, excrement. (Although it’s possible I’m being unfair to excrement, which is, after all, an honest, natural substance which doesn’t masquerade as anything else.) To put it more politely, it has shortcomings which preclude it from being categorised as science, and which are obvious even to those of us who are not experts in statistics. It can be a meaningful statement about the world only to those who already agree with its conclusions and are prepared to completely ignore its fatal inadequacies as scientific research, i.e., only to partisans.

    Reading the comments of Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and Michael Ashley, it is clear that they are indeed prepared to utterly ignore the “Moon landing”/”Recursive fury” material’s inadequacies. Therefore, this makes them – what? Partisans, activists? Whatever else they might be, they are demonstrably not behaving like scientists.

    Adam Corner doesn’t stoop as low as those two, but (tying myself in knots to be charitable here) I find his remarks on the CR “Blognitive Dissonance” thread perplexing. “… a lot of your fellow blog commentators write things that are unambiguously conspiratorial, and Lewandowsky has picked up on this and shone a light into it.” Is this just naivety?

    Imagine a study which tried to establish that left-handed people were more prone to murder, and which focussed solely on a handful of left-handed murderers, without mentioning or acknowledging the existence of huge numbers of right-handed murderers or the vast majority of left-handed people who are not murderers (and which used unreliable, made-up data, to boot.) It would be laughable. The only people who would support it would be those who were already convinced that left-handedness and murderous impulses were linked, or who wanted to establish that connection to denigrate left-handers.

    I really don’t want to be too hostile to Adam Corner, as I agree with you that he is one of the few scientists of his persuasion willing to engage in dialogue with sceptics, and he must be given some credit for that. But what does Dr. Corner’s silence about the shoddiness of the Lewandowsky material indicate?

  6. steveta_uk says:

    “A ‘conspiracy theory’ has to be about something grander.”

    How about the odd belief that nearly all the blogs around the world that express any skepticism towards CAGW are run by folk in the pay of big oil?

    How about the belief that anyone who comments in the Grauniad or the Indy with a view that doubts CAGW is a paid troll?

    These are I think you’d agree pretty bizarre conspiracy theories that are happily accepted by many acedemics despite there being no serious evidence of either being true. The genuine “paid trolls” would appear to be people like Bob Ward who’s job it is to spread (dis)information, not the “citizen scientists” who frequent many skeptical blogs.

  7. manicbeancounter says:

    It strikes me that Lewandowsky and Cook exhibit some of the characteristics of the worst conspiracy theorists. These elements (which we all use to some lesser or greater extent) include
    1. Evaluating evidence according to a very narrow belief system, or in terms of whether it confirms/contradicts a belief system.
    2. Discerning evidence according to the source, rather than the quality.
    3. Believing that quite loose groupings of people, with diverse value are a coherent organisation with very similar values.
    4. Believing that organisations are far larger and massively more competent than is the reality.
    5. Taking steps to block out uncomfortable questions, with the consequence of reducing the quality of their case.

  8. steveta; manicbeancounter:
    They’re really talking about paranoia, aren’t they?
    I find myself in an awkward situation, because I want to defend the right of academics to take part in political activism. I’ve done so with respect to Adam Corner, as Alex Cull knows. Saying that an academic shouldn’t at the same time be a political activist is a restriction on academic and personal freedom, it seems to me. Similarly, the argument that political activism shouldn’t be financed by public funds is problematic. A professor of public policy is going to have political opinions, inevitably.
    Then I see an article like this, where Lewandowsky is clearly using hs position of authority to smear climate sceptics in the course of an interview on an entirely diffrent subject:
    http://www.news.com.au/world/sandy-hook-massacre-was-a-government-plot-the-new-truthers-believe/story-fndir2ev-1226556093112
    [note: I wrote the article in a hurry, and have had to correct some silly mistakes, including the date of the fieldwork, which was Aug-Sep 2010, not 2011]

  9. manicbeancounter says:

    Geoff,

    I hope you don’t mind my disagreeing with you a little. The definition of paranoia includes conspiracy beliefs, making false accusations and false linkages*. But these are the outcome of being anxious and fearful. I would not characterise Drs Lewandowsky and Cook as being anxious and fearful. Rather they are promoting paranoia, like many xenophobes. They promote their intolerance towards others, making academics and ordinary people properly fearful of challenging their dogmatic views. I believe in defending people’s right to speak out, even when they what they say is wrong and/or distasteful views. But I also think that others have a right to challenge those views.

    *From Wikipedia

    Paranoia is a thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion. Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory beliefs, or beliefs of conspiracy concerning a perceived threat towards oneself. (e.g. “Everyone is out to get me.”) Making false accusations and the general distrust of others also frequently accompany paranoia. For example, an incident most people would view as an accident or coincidence, a paranoid person might believe was intentional.

  10. catweazle666 says:

    manicbeancounter says:

    “I would not characterise Drs Lewandowsky and Cook as being anxious and fearful.”

    On the contrary, I suspect they are becoming more anxious and fearful by the day. Given that Hansen has just admitted that there has been no warming for a decade and the Met Office has stated that there has been no stat sig warming since 1997 and their shiny new computer model projects none out to 2017,anyone with any awareness who makes their living from climate alarmism must be getting very worried indeed, because the way it’s going, somebody is going to have to explain where it all went wrong, and scapegoats will be required.

    I don’t think it’s just me who has observed the Watermelons becoming more hysterical and extreme with every passing day as they frantically scurry round attempting to prop up their increasingly untenable position.

  11. Skiphil says:

    Just a quick note on the term “conspiracy theory” if I may…. (it’s not a subject I’ve devoted any attention to, I simply want to follow up on a comment by Omnologos).

    Yes, there are all kinds of *genuine* conspiracies large and small, many documented by history, so when people use “conspiracy theory” as a sneer phrase they must (at least implicitly) mean something even stronger than “contrary to the consensus” as in “no rational person could even consider this belief worthy of respect”….. because otherwise many legitimate hypotheses or speculations about the conduct of other people could never even be considered. Many kinds of illicit, illegal, and/or suspicious behaviors in a wide variety of walks of life may involve “conspiracy” in the limited sense of two or more people conspiring with some degree of privacy and secrecy.

    To take two historical assassination examples: it is considered extremely well established (I believe) that Abraham Lincoln (1865) and Archduke Franz Ferdinand (1914) were assassinated as the result of conspiracies. In both cases 6-8 people were subsequently regarded as central to each plot. Imagine commenting on either case contemporaneously, in the hours or days before either conspiracy group had been uncovered. One could speculate that more than one person might be involved, but in each case at the moment of shooting there was only one person firing a gun. Is it conspiracy mongering in either case to search for possible accomplices? In these two cases a “conspiracy” was proved beyond any reasonable doubt to exist, yet no detached observer had any evidence of such in the initial moments. So one must be highly suspicious of any principle which says “always ignore or ridicule suspicions of conspiracy not yet proved.”

    It is not UN-reasonable to suspect or look for possible conspiracies in cases where there is not immediate evidence (never mind proof however defined). The people who should raise hackles are those who leap beyond available evidence to insist on more than can reasonably be asserted. Most of Lewandowsky’s surveyed “conspiracies” range from highly implausible to ridiculous, but he wants to recklessly conflate skepticism about the soundness of (aspects of) climate science with a belief than the moon landings were faked in a studio or similar nutty beliefs. To doubt the moon landings is to ignore a vast array of contemporary evidence and witnesses, including the astronauts themselves. Thus the signature case for Lew is vastly different from many other cases. Lewandowsky, Cook, et al. are conducting a kind of smear campaign.

  12. Skiphil says:

    Actually, in the 1914 case there had been one attack and then the (successful) assassination when the Archduke’s driver got stuck in a side street, so there was some evidence of conspiracy at the outset. In the 1865 case there was also some initial indication of conspiracy, since there was an attempt on the life of Secretary of State Seward on the same evening. Still, the point remains that it was reasonable (and ultimately correct) to look for evidence of conspiracies in both cases, although in the first hours or days one could not begin to “prove” any definite conspiracy. There is nothing always, inherently irrational about “conspiracy ideation” (bad term, I know) if it is guided and constrained by a rigorous search for evidence. In fact, it is how much good detective work may proceed, again so long as empirical evidence and reason rule.

  13. omnologos says:

    thanks Skiphil. Notably there had been many assassination attempts on Royals at the end of the XIX century in Europe, some of them succeeding, and all of them a result of conspiracies. So when it happened in Sarajevo in 1914 the idea that Gavrilo Princip had acted alone would have been an extraordinary claim indeed.

    ps does anybody know of any climate skeptic blogger or commenter anywhere that has ever outed himself/herself as a believer that the Moon landings were fake?

  14. Lewis Deane says:

    You know, Geoff, I’m rather upset (also very drunk) because Ben edited out my poem. And I cant even remember it but I’m sure it was ‘attentionally’ good, like Lewandowsky, his ‘intentions’, even though their Australian, are presumably ‘good’? – but you see what you can do with those. A non-constructive cynicism. And, what appals, is not his ‘intentions’ (who cares?) but the ‘intentions’ of those who except this behaviour. He is a very naughty boy and no one seems to notice!. O well.

  15. Lewis Deane says:

    ‘Attentionally’? Like it.

  16. Lewis Deane says:

    If they really have taken it down because of Jeff Id that would be interesting to confirm. He’s as right wing as they come (in the best sense of that term, if there is a ‘best sense’, for you and I!) but as smart as the best ‘idiot savant’, ie really smart, and not someone to get the wrong side of. Once he gets his mind to something, there is no stopping him. Almost Russian.

  17. Lewis Deane says:

    Between you and me, Geoff, speaking confidentially, Ben, though I love him, is a bit of an old Puritanical Lenin, young (very young) though he is. What, no poetry? How absurd!

  18. Lewis Deane says:

    Sorry for this over-posting but just incase Ben decides I’m wrong:

    Lewandowsky has forgotten his name. Krasny.
    It is certainly Polish and possibly Jewish.
    Freedom was possibly Australia where his parents finally,
    Bravely landed. That vast land, where an echo might be heard.
    Upon the shore and in the town a smile, a hello
    That redeemed everything one was fleeing.
    Like Tyranny, like bullying, like being ‘intellectually wrong’.
    One began ‘wrong’, Lewandowsky, one is ‘wrong’.

  19. omnologos says:

    Lewis – please stop – before Lew writes a paper about drunkenness and skepticism ;)

  20. Thanks Omnologos and Skiphil for daring to defend the right to believe in conspiracies. The horror of 9/11 has had a terrible effect on people’s reasoning powers, I think. I can remember the Kennedy assassination. When it was learned that Lee Harvey Oswald had been both a communist and a CIA agent, and that his murderer was a criminal and a police informer, what was more natural than to look for conspiracies? Books like Mark Lane’s “Rush to Judgement” were given serious critical coverage and serialised in serious newspapers.
    Nothing similar happened when serious questions were raised about the official account of 9/11. “Either you believe us, or you’re a fruitcake” was the official view, almost universally accepted. Hence all criticism of the extraordinary incompetence of the authorities was stifled, and Bush and Cheney were allowed to testify in secret, a shameful betrayal of the principles of US democracy. One thing we Europeans admire about the USA is their willingness to give their politicians a hard time.
    Catweazle, Manicbeancounter
    I’m perfectly happy with people disagreeing, and also with ascribing motives on a casual blog article which is little more than an honest (and rude) description of my feelings about Lewandowsky. I think speculating about his origins is off-limits though, for the same reason as misspelling difficult foreign names. it’s a matter of common respect.
    I’ve corrected a couple of grammar mistakes and removed a couple of comments. It would be wrong to remove everythng I consider irrelevant though, I think, on a thread like this.

  21. Foxgoose says:

    omnologos says:
    February 9, 2013 at 3:02 am
    …does anybody know of any climate skeptic blogger or commenter anywhere that has ever outed himself/herself as a believer that the Moon landings were fake?

    No – but I seem to remember several Green Party candidates have aligned themselves with the 911 “truther” movement:-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynthia_McKinney

    http://paulstott.typepad.com/911cultwatch/2008/12/911-truther-tony-gosling-suspended-from-bristol-green-party.html

    http://www.anorak.co.uk/172533/news/twitterings/green-party-candidate-on-a-beautiful-911.html/

  22. Lewis Deane says:

    Geoff, I can’t even spell your name correctly, never mind that stupid Australian. It is just laziness, it’s also what Peter S might call a garbled unconscious, a churning inside myself. As for conspiracies, apart from being the last, best chance of the idiot to explain his own impotence at explaining anything, more than 4 billion people believe in them – and no, no impotence there. I have an episodic Irish (white) but extreme Muslim friend who brings me theories that more or less boil down to blaming the Isrealies for 9/11. I still sort of tolerate, still try to like him. Though the last time I told him piss off for being anti-semetic!

  23. Lewis Deane says:

    Under conditions of peace, the war like man attacks himself. – Nietzsche, the disciple of the inventer of the unconscious, Schopenhauer! (Can’t spell!)

  24. steveta_uk says:

    Lewis, isn’t it bed time yet?

  25. Lewis Deane says:

    Steve_uk, Yeah – never!

  26. hro001 says:

    Lewandowsky and Cook defend themselves against the possible charge of bias (no!) by explaining that the choice of blog comments to analyse was not made by them (authors of the original paper) but by their fellow authors, (one of whom, Michael Hubble-Marriott, is the “Mike” who is responsible for the Watching the Deniers site

    Just for the record, I had my very own Close encounter of the Orwellian kind with “Mike” on the heels of the 10:10 disaster. This was no doubt in the days before “Mike” rose to the status of Lewandowsky fellow author.

    At some point between then and now, Mike seems to have “reinvented” himself, because his About page no longer contains that which I found at the time, which included:

    Many of us suffer from “climate paralysis”, the fear that any individual attempt to address climate change is meaningless. And to be honest for a long time I thought the scale of the problem rendered individual actions meaningless. Like many, I placed hope in the world’s governments agreeing upon a common approach to this emerging global catastrophe.
    [...]

    I had asked a few questions in his thread, to which he chose not to respond. But he did post a subsequent rant, which included:

    Political debate around the globe has descended into farce: 25% of the American pop think Obama is a Muslim. 50% reject evolution. People think the 9/11 attacks where conducted by Bush. Deniers are waging a war on science.

    Who knows, perhaps Lew’s original (and still conveniently unpublished) “research” was “inspired” by Mike ;-)

    Nonetheless, as I had concluded at the time:

    A guy who is obviously convinced that this is the dawning of the age of “an emerging global catastrophe” calling those who do not share his views “ALARMIST” is ironic and amusing. But a guy who chooses the nym – and dubs his blog – “Watching the deniers” accusing those with whom he disagrees of “disparaging the memory of the Holocaust” is … Amazing. Simply amazing.

  27. Brad Keyes says:

    manicbeancounter notices their habit of

    2. Discerning evidence according to the source, rather than the quality.

    Yep—it even has a name: the genetic fallacy.

  28. Brad Keyes says:

    alexjc38:

    I really don’t want to be too hostile to Adam Corner, as I agree with you that he is one of the few scientists of his persuasion willing to engage in dialogue with sceptics, and he must be given some credit for that.

    Dan Kahan is willing to engage in dialogue but unlike Corner he manages to do so without insulting our intelligence, and is therefore the only climate psychologist I have any time for. Do any others deserve our respect?

    But what does Dr. Corner’s silence about the shoddiness of the Lewandowsky material indicate?

    Unfortunately, asking an academic to side with non-academics against a fellow academic is asking the superhuman. This is not to defend Corner—I wouldn’t lift a finger to do so—just to remark on a fact of life.

  29. A. Scott says:

    Geoff – I disagree with you about activism and advocacy from alleged “scientists” and/or academics. I was always taught you had to choose – one of the other. A scientist is tasked with a dispassionate review and presentation of the facts. One who supports the scientific process, welcoming and supporting review and cooperates in making challenge possible.

    Advocacy of the results of your own work is one thing – advocacy, and the crossing over into activism for “cause” related directly to your field of work eliminates the ability to be unbiased as we’ve all too often seen … none as far overboard as with Lewandowsky and his clan.

    Lewandowsky is trying to use the cover of “science” to promote and practice his brand of ‘Punitive Psychology’ – attempting to use the scientific/scholarly process to attack, denigrate and demean those who disagree with his “cause.”

    That is NOT science – it is pure 100% unadulterated activism. From writing “the Debunkers Handbook” to papers trying to identify how cause believers can succeed in getting out their message, it is subverting the scientific process for personal gains.

  30. Climate Daily says:

    Reblogged this on Climate Daily.

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  37. JohnB says:

    Fascinating to watch Cook wonder at all the different tactics and tricks he and others might employ.

    What a pity that the truth isn’t one of them.

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