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Re: Baloney Detection Kit

Clearly he used this to point a finger at global warming sceptics and endorse the idea of it being anthropogenic.
One of his point is to ask the "pseudo-scientists" "where is the data?" A question we can ask of the AGW proponents given the serious questions about the temperature data and the computer source codes.

Notice how cleverly he uses this presentation to label sceptics as pseudoscientists when in fact there appear to be scientists on both sides of the fence and it isn't just, as he'd like to suggest, simply a matter of politics though the political motives of many on both sides could be questioned.

In the end we have to conclude the whole baloney list is just that, baloney. It can't easily be used to detect a clever or well constructed fraud.
It is easy to spot a 410 email advance payment scam but some scams are more subtle and some, I'd guess, are very subtle indeed.

Let's see. Talk to a sales trainer and they will tell you that their clients are not just salesmen learning how to sell but also buyers learning the salesmen's tricks.

Thus, if expecting to be tested by the "baloney method" you take care to ensure you create the illusion of appearing to satisfy the tests.

The thing is, go apply the baloney test to Michael Mann et all and we come up short.
We have some who believe, some who would say not proven and those that would say it is baloney.
ANd we have pseudo-scientists on both sides of the fence and some scientists whose behaviour is very unscientific.

In the end this was just a clever way to label critics of AGW as pseudo-scientists, to link them with UFO conspiracy theorists and not, repeat: not to consider the science nor to apply his test tp both sides of the argument.

Re: Baloney Detection Kit

I think that he is sincere. I don't think he was actually being clever in this video so much as using "us" as an example for the baloney detection kit.

The detection kit was the focus of the video, it is just curious that "we" got included.

Re: Baloney Detection Kit

If so then it is a bit sloppy to use as an example just one side of the argument and not apply his "baloney" test to the other.
Sloppy or deliberate?

Re: Baloney Detection Kit

Sloppy in this case. The extenuating circumstance is that it is just an example.

I respect these guys. I just know now that I can't latch onto what any authority says, no matter how much I respect them.

Re: Baloney Detection Kit

I have no particular respect for these guys at all. To me these 'skeptics' are a type of science pundit created by the broadcast media in the 1970s.

the 1960s hippy counter-culture produced a revival of interest in various forms of mumbo jumbo, and the broadcast media wanted to take advantage of the fashionability of these 'New Age' beliefs in the 1970s. But when you make a programme about some belief system, broadcasting regulations often require some sort of balance to be provided and this needed a new type of science pundit to come on TV and be prepared to attack it.

I remember watching as a teenager a number of TV shows in the early 1970s which featured spoon-bender Uri Geller. On one show an up and coming academic media scientist, a mathematics or physics professor called John Taylor was participating. After Geller bent some spoons Taylor was asked his opinion and he replied 'Science has no explanation for this'. He was criticised in the newspapers for not putting up a more robust defence of science and I don't think he got any more media work after that. But it became apparent from Taylor's performance that the usual sort of academic media scientist (the type who would present science documantaries) wasn't really up to dealing with the likes of Geller, it needed a new kind of media scientist pundit and that's where James Randi (who wasn't a scientist, he was actually a former stage magician) stepped up to the plate.

We didn't really get the Randi and Shermer type people in the UK until the 1990s probably due to there only being a handful of TV channels in the UK (and most of those were public service TV channels) before the 1990s, limiting the amount of available work for a debunker pundit. Examples of these people in the UK are Richard Wiseman (mentioned in JEB's article 'Expert Ease'), Chris French and Susan Blackmore. All the UK people tend to be psychology academics (as Shermer is), and I'm not completely comfortable with the idea of science and its accompanying philosophy being represented in the media by 'soft science' people rather than 'hard science' people.