Return to Website

Number Watch Web Forum

This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.

Number Watch Web Forum
Start a New Topic 
View Entire Thread
Re: Best blogs Poll ... more

Phil Plait had a long commentary last year about this award. He used an interesting argument for why Climate Audit author was "wrong". Because CA was ripping apart ( the Global Warming Alarmist data but NOT looking into the AGW claims, he was somehow not doing science. The proof that CA is not worthy of winning is that he doesn't spend equal time evaluating the AGW claims. Plait is the head of JREF now. If a claimant came in and said, You haven't tested every claim, therefor you are wrong, he would ignore him as a crank, yet he seems to use that same argument against those trying to derail the climate alarmists.

He hesitantly suggests that even though Hansen doesn't reveal his methods that he is doing good work. Anytime any of the alarmists do reveal the inner workings of their models, they are shredded, but there are "good" reasons for not sharing such methods at least in Phil's eyes.

He goes on to say that is a travesty of a science site. I truly don't get this. I swear he must have read nothing but the information on sites opposing The one part about junkscience that most people don't seem to get is that the news listed is both GOOD and BAD. You as the reader have to identify where the wacky is (except when Barry or Steve put illuminatory comments).

This is the side of our science that scares me. It also makes me embrace the royal society motto ever so much more tightly -- "Nullius in Verba".

Re: Re: Best blogs Poll ... more

That's one of the favourite arguments by pro-AGW bloggers to dismiss AGW sceptics, they argue that the scepticism is only one way, and therefore (to them) it's invalid. The actual root of their 'concern' is explained a lot better in a rant on the same subject made at the same time (steve McIntyre doing well in last year's science blog awards) by PZ Myers of the Pharyngula blog on this link:


In the above Myers blows his top at someone called Stan Palmer and compares AGW sceptics with creationists. The one-way criticism is something he associates with creationists and anybody else who does something similar is in his eyes using the same tactics.

As I said about a year or so ago, the last time Phil Plait was discussed on this forum, I think all this 'badscience' stuff is an American cultural thing. The USA is in the strange position of being the world's leading scientific country but also the most religious country in the developed world. These left/liberal American scientists are obsessed with creationists and seem to think that any other sceptics of mainstream science are probably in league with them.

The UK is a much more secular country and the US obsession with creationists looks weird to us. We even have a picture of Charles Darwin on our £10 banknotes. On top of that highly religious people (almost certainly creationists) like Isaac Newton and Michael Faraday, who have also appeared on banknotes, are regarded as amongst Britain's greatest scientists. Creationism is on the rise in the UK, but is mainly associated with religious immigrant communities, and if it ever does get taught in British schools in the future it will be mainly as a result of the promotion of multiculturalism.

One-way criticism is pretty much the same as an attempt at falsification of a theory, and it's a legitimate scientific technique. I've never heard of anybody attempting a falsification of a theory to be required to attempt to falsify the work of other would-be falsifiers at the same time.

Re: Best blogs Poll ... more

I see that McIntyre has indicated that he doesn't really think Science is the right category for CA since he is really dealing with statistical methods - but there does not seem to be an alternative category available.