More shameless conspiracy theory from the ‘Skeptical Science’ smear quest team

You’ve all heard of a religious “grail quest“, I submit what we have here is an ongoing religious “smear quest”.

Left to Right: Kevin Judd (Professor, School of Mathematics and Statistics), Matt Hipsey (Assistant Professor, School of Earth and Environment), John Cook (blogger, Skeptical Science), Stephan Lewandowsky (Professor, School of Psychology)

Left to Right: Kevin Judd (Professor, School of Mathematics and Statistics), Matt Hipsey (Assistant Professor, School of Earth and Environment), John Cook (blogger, Skeptical Science), Stephan Lewandowsky (Professor, School of Psychology) Photo from SkepticalScience.com

The cartoonist (John Cook, purveyor of the laughably named “Skeptical Science”) and the psychologist (Stephan Lewandowsky), the two rightmost people in the photo above, are working together again to smear anyone who has doubts about the severity of the global warming. If making up data for a fake correlation (they never polled any skeptics, only friends) to support the idea that climate skeptics deny the moon landing wasn’t enough, now they are going after HIV and AIDS conspiracy theory. Basically, they think because we reject their ability to perform actual statistical science (by polling a representative population of skeptics instead of friends who support their mindset) that we are now engaged in “counterfactual thinking”. I look at it as psychological projection on their part.

Making up data to support your claims is about as counterfactual as one could possibly imagine, but this seems to be just another case of “anything for the cause” I suppose. They must really hate climate skeptics to stoop this low, that’s about the only thing that makes sense, because this surely isn’t about science, but is clearly an emotional issue for them. Meanwhile, rational thinkers stand back and laugh at the show.

Here’s the latest Lewpaper: 

===========================================================

Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation

Stephan Lewandowsky1*, John Cook1, 2, Klaus Oberauer1, 3 and Michael Hubble4
  • 1Psychology, University of Western Australia, Australia
  • 2Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland, Australia
  • 3Psychology, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 4 Climate Realities Research, Australia

Conspiracist ideation has been repeatedly implicated in the rejection of scientific propositions, although empirical evidence to date has been sparse. A recent study involving visitors to climate blogs found that conspiracist ideation was associated with the rejection of climate science and the rejection of other scientific propositions such as the link between lung cancer and smoking, and between HIV and AIDS (Lewandowsky, Oberauer, & Gignac, in press; LOG12 from here on). This article analyzes the response of the climate blogosphere to the publication of LOG12. We identify and trace the hypotheses that emerged in response to LOG12 and that questioned the validity of the paper’s conclusions. Using established criteria to identify conspiracist ideation, we show that many of the hypotheses exhibited conspiratorial content and counterfactual thinking. For example, whereas hypotheses were initially narrowly focused on LOG12, some ultimately grew in scope to include actors beyond the authors of LOG12, such as university executives, a media organization, and the Australian government. The overall pattern of the blogosphere’s response to LOG12 illustrates the possible role of conspiracist ideation in the rejection of science, although alternative scholarly interpretations may be advanced in the future.

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

==============================================================

For those of you just joining this discussion, and wondering where the claim of “making up data” comes from, it would be instructive to read the WUWT topic section on Lewandowsky to see how truly bad his work really is:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/category/stephan-lewandowsky/

This entry is of particular interest:

McIntyre takes down Lewandowsky’s fabricated statistical claims

Lewandowsky and Cook are engaging in clearly transparent “Punitive psychology”. The technique was widely used in the Soviet Union to incarcerate dissidents in mental institutions. At the University of Western Australia the walls of the prison are not brick or stone, but walls of censorship, confining the dissident to a limbo where no-one will report what they say for fear of being judged mentally deficient themselves.

A good example of this is equating climate skeptics to pedophiles, something else Lewandowsky was involved in (via an ABC radio show, but he didn’t actually make the claim, the announcer did) but note that he’s made the claims about HIV and AIDS here, even before his latest paper was published. Predetermined conclusion anyone?

The man and his apprentice, John Cook, are shameless in their smear quest. But, they are apparently getting paid handsomely; Jo Nova finds that Lewandowsky has received $1.7 million AU in taxpayer dollars since 2007.

http://joannenova.com.au/2012/09/lewandowsky-gets-1-7m-of-taxpayer-funds-to-demonize-people-who-disagree-with-him/#comment-1127143

One wonders what sort of incident it will actually take before UWA starts to reject this sort of hateful smearing under the guise of “science”. Maybe when the grants dry up they will look at it differently?

But, let’s give Lewandowsky a chance to explain his reasonings in his own words:

This one is also interesting.

UPDATE: Climate Resistance has a pretty good summary of the issue

But self-evidently, it was the opacity of the first paper (LOG12) and its method that led to the bloggers’ speculation. Had Lewandowsky and his researchers been upfront about which blogs they had approached and when and by whom, there would have been no confusion. But on Lewandowsky’s view, speculation about his methodology counts as ‘conspiracy ideation’, which is to say that wondering out loud about whether or not Lewandowsky had done what he had claimed to have done betrays a similar mode of thought that convinces people that the CIA organised the assassination of JFK.

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106 thoughts on “More shameless conspiracy theory from the ‘Skeptical Science’ smear quest team

  1. Aspires to Directorship of Department of Truth?

    And why am I reminded of The Lord of the Flies?

  2. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
    Then they came for the socialists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Catholic.
    Then they came for me,
    and there was no one left to speak for me.

  3. OMG, that first video is an eye opener. Books! We write books! Oh, the horrors! /sarcoff;>

    His speach sounds like something designed to induce emotions of “shock, shock I say”, yet mostly just reminds me of “The Spanish Inquisitors”… Someone needs to remind him that the “peer review” process was suborned by his pals…

  4. Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what’s coming to ya! I’ll bite your legs off!”

  5. Creep-y. He could seriously damage the reputation of psychology as a serious science.

    If it had one.

  6. E.M.Smith says:
    February 5, 2013 at 7:56 am
    OMG, that first video is an eye opener. Books! We write books! Oh, the horrors! /sarcoff;>

    His speach sounds like something designed to induce emotions of “shock, shock I say”, yet mostly just reminds me of “The Spanish Inquisitors”… Someone needs to remind him that the “peer review” process was suborned by his pals…

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You do a disservice to the integrity of “The Spanish Inquisitors”……. Seriously.

  7. What a strange fellow. I think he would have been quite at home sitting on Robespierre’s right hand deciding who should be driven off to Mme Guillotine.

  8. Lewandowsky cites his ‘moon’ paper in the new paper..

    But it isn’t even published yet, how long does ‘In Press’ last for?

  9. I know this is both irrelevant and totally unfair, but because he is the purveyor of so much BS, I cannot help but comment that in the videos above, Lewandowsky looks exactly like what I would expect a [snip . . you may well be right but this is a high profile blog and that could just chew up time and energy . . mod] to look like.

    How can anyone make a career out of peddling the supposed exposure of what are clearly fantasy conspiracy theories? Yet Lewandowsky gets paid handsomely for doing just this.

    Perhaps more important, why are we even bothering about this? Cook and Lewandowsky are first order cranks and renowned experts in manipulating facts. No one cares what they say or think and they are an embarrassment to the alarmist cause. We should let them gently fade away to be forgotten in well deserved obscurity.

  10. Those two videos are, to say the least, bizarre.

    Using his ‘logic’ anything published on the internet, in a book or in a newspaper is not true. So all I have to do to bring down the CAGW meme is a book by, say, Michael Mann that supports it!

    Also he is doing an excellent line in aguing from the particular to the general. I wonder in what science literacy class he learned that.

    Jim.

  11. “The overall pattern of the blogosphere’s response to LOG12 illustrates the possible role of conspiracist ideation in the rejection of science, although alternative scholarly interpretations may be advanced in the future.”

    Groucho Marx said it much better: “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.” At least Groucho was funny…

  12. The “conspiracy theory” meme that these conspirators spout is especially ironic, even in their irony-rich communications domain.

    Remember, these conspirators are the cutting edge of the “deny deniers the right to express their views by calling them names and minimizing them with ad hominem accusations of Big Oil-Big Coal funding” grand strategy of “climate communication.”

    These conspirators are actually part of a conspiracy to demean, threaten, minimize, ruin, intimidate, and ultimately destroy their perceived opponents in a scientific debate.

    There are several historical precedents for such neurotic attempts to minimize whole classes of opponents. None of them ended well.

  13. mpcraig says:
    February 5, 2013 at 8:14 am
    I had an idea of what counterfactual thinking was but I had a look it up anyways. In my search, the most interesting article is one that states such thinking may actually be a good thing! http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100209100800.htm

    =========================================

    Doesn’t Michael Mann and the Fossil Fuel Funding (FFF) conspiracy fit the description?

  14. Based on the first video (I only had the stomach to listen to the pompous ass for a few seconds) Lewandowsky must somehow believe peer review adds to the credibility of climate science. Climategates 1 & 2 destroyed that thought.

    Peer review might somehow be required for persons who do not know how to read time-series graphs. I suspect Lewandowsky is one of those persons. Because if he could read graphs, he would have found that the hypothesis of manmade global warming was fatally flawed.

  15. These academics are a disgrace to the Australian Education..It is people like this that are ruining Australia’s higher education reputation as less and less foreign students aspire to go an Australian University

  16. If governments, corporations and grant receivers didn’t lie so much to cover their arses and/or protect their ripoffs, “Conspiracist ideation” wouldn’t be as rampant. Recent discoveries come to mind:

    http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/Divers-find-ammunition-in-sunken-Lusitania

    or

    http://www.burzynskimovie.com/


    Where the FDA essentially states that no support will be forthcoming to “individuals” having cancer cures, only corporations with deep pockets need apply and anyone stepping out of line will be harassed to the full extent of the FDA’s interpretation of the law.

    So when people become suspicious that cancer cures are being withheld to protect Pharma and hospital income, HIV “disease” has been created to provide a conduit for wasted research money and useless Pharma fixes, and even that the moon landing was faked or that 911 was a black flag op; it’s because governments are fully capable of attempting/doing these things that lends to the “conspiracist ideation”. Most governments (and global corporations and the people they hire) have so little integrity that it is easy to believe almost any negative thing ascribed to them.

  17. Admittedly, my comment is wholly subjective, but… how utterly awkward. My mind’s eye (absent of any self-portrayed videos) pictured the good Winthrop Professor as “flighty” – characterized by irresponsible or silly behavior. However and upon viewing these (and other) videos, my impression of Lewandowsky is “awkward” – lacking social graces or manners (a/k/a gauche).

    As Dr. Lewandosky presented his argument for the very real existence of climate deniers, the following scene from the movie “Silence of the Lambs” immediately manifested (edited for younger readers):

    Hannibal Lecter: First principles, Clarice. Simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this man you seek?
    Clarice Starling: He kills women…
    Hannibal Lecter: No. That is incidental. What is the first and principal thing he does? What needs does he serve by killing?
    Clarice Starling: Anger, um, social acceptance, and, huh, sexual frustrations, sir…
    Hannibal Lecter: No! He covets. That is his nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? Make an effort to answer now.
    Clarice Starling: No. We just…
    Hannibal Lecter: No. We begin by coveting what we see every day… And don’t your eyes seek out the things you want?

    Clearly, Dr. Lewandosky covets his ability to discern the “truth” about climate change where others whom he labels as deniers either cannot or will not. He is a man driven by misplaced passions, which have been cloaked in moral certainty.

  18. Pssst…
    I know you’ve heard the rumor that AIDS was really concocted in some government lab, but that part about Al Gore having something to do with it surely can’t be true, nor that part about revenge and being jilted by a Swahili- speaking female impersonator, or…

  19. Con artists rely on using intimidation tactics to silence their critics.
    Lewandowsky demonstrates this admirably.
    It will be interesting to see what Lewandowsky and gang make of Revkin backing away from the cliamte apocalypse cliff….is Revkin now going to be branded a conspircy kook?

  20. cui bono says, etc. Lewandowsky does social psychology. Some parts of psychology (you probably never have heard of) are considered serious science. Social psychology has a hard time as recently two Dutch social psychologists proved to be involved with data manipulation and fraud. Lewandowsky does not make the situation any better.

  21. I think its a good sign that they are going for the ad-hominem approach. It means they are feeling that they are losing.

  22. Peter Miller says:
    February 5, 2013 at 8:14 am
    “Perhaps more important, why are we even bothering about this? Cook and Lewandowsky are first order cranks and renowned experts in manipulating facts. No one cares what they say or think and they are an embarrassment to the alarmist cause. We should let them gently fade away to be forgotten in well deserved obscurity.”

    If Lewandowsky were not a crank paid by the government for this you would have a point.

  23. just had a flick through of the article above, very interesting-

    why we need more co2-

    “Since photosynthesis normally occurs only during daylight hours, CO2 addition is not required at night. However, supplementation is recommended during cloudy, dull days to compensate for the lower rate of photosynthesis”

  24. Am I understanding this correctly? The argument appears to go like this:

    Dr. Lew: I got data from a bunch of blogs and I see that climate skeptics are conspiracy theorists.
    Skeptics: Wow. How’d you come up with that? Can I see the data and methodology and try to reproduce the results? Hmm. Your data source is bad.
    Dr. Lew: You’re questioning my results? See! Conspiracy theorists!

    Maybe I’m oversimplifying? I tend to lose focus when I have to waste time trying to decode words like ‘ideation’ and ‘counterfactual thinking’, so it’s possible I’ve missed something…

  25. As I noted over on the Bishop, the key thing to remember here is that Lewandowsky is a ‘social scientist’, and for the most part ‘social science’ isn’t science.

  26. ” … such as the link between lung cancer and smoking … ”

    My educated guess is that this is yet another swipe at skeptic climate scientists. AGW promoters love to toss out variations of the notion that Fred Singer rejects a cancer/cigarettes link, as suggested here http://www.desmogblog.com/no-apology-is-owed-dr-s-fred-singer-and-none-will-be-forthcoming , but in this example, the hilarious problem is that our friends at Desmogblog apparently never read their own “smoking gun” evidence. Although the TobaccoDocs material in that blog – the “research paper” link – are now behind a sign-up wall, but I have the link here http://tobaccodocuments.org/lor/92756807-6876.html , which clearly shows Dr Singer’s draft paper saying in plain English on pg 6, “The health risk from smoking is not the focus of this paper… When its review discovered that existing U.S. studies of lung cancer and ETS did not support its position, the EPA arbitrarily reduced the traditional standard of proof; or “confidence interval ” Only by this manipulation could the EPA claim that its analysis was statistically significant”

  27. Ideation. That’s a rich new term for “WTF”, I do believe.

  28. Hmmmm . . . as sanity starts to return to climate science, as data triumphs over computer models, as thought leaders in the field start to climb down from their years of Fear Mongering, these fools are just plumbing new depths of desperation driven by the concept that their time in the limelight is up, their reputations are toast and their careers are over.

    Look up “Chuckleheads” in the dictionary and you’ll find that picture.

  29. mct says:
    February 5, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Never a worse time to be an Aussie.
    Sorry?

    Actually, never a worse time to be an Aussie tax payer.

  30. I imagine that “conspiracist Ideation” can be applied to their “skeptic” project as well.

    I suppose next they will go after the bacteria theory of ulcers and the “salt is ok” theory and those who push plate tectonics, too. After all, all you need is a poll.

    Richard said:

    “Since photosynthesis normally occurs only during daylight hours, CO2 addition is not required at night. However, supplementation is recommended during cloudy, dull days to compensate for the lower rate of photosynthesis”

    Not true. Only C3 uses C02 only during the day. C4 plants use it at night as well.

  31. As a physician whose early career and research focused almost exclusively on HIV/AIDS I can state with confidence the following: the fact that my reading of the science or lack thereof clearly calls in to question the oft repeated warnings of dangerous global warming driven by anthropogenic CO2 emissions does not in any way impact my firm belief, again based on scientific evidence that HIV is the cause of AIDS, nor does it blind me to the enormous beneficial impact that understanding has had to those suffering from AIDS through more effective therapies and prevention. Perhaps it is more than coincidental that someone so clearly and personally acquainted with psychological dysfunction is also publishing in the area. Unfortunatley a profound lack of insight makes the writings and ramblings more appropriate for a Lewis Carroll novel than a scientific discussion.

  32. Kent Brockman: Mr. Simpson, how do you respond to the charges that petty vandalism such as graffiti is down eighty percent, while heavy sack beatings are up a shocking nine hundred percent?

    Homer Simpson: Aw, you can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. Forty percent of all people know that.

  33. Mr. Watts (or anyone else),
    I am curious to know why you refer to John Cook as a “cartoonist.” I went to SS’s website to look at his c.v. but that was no help (unsurprisingly) .

    His c.v. does have some weasel-like language, to wit: “He studied physics at the University of Queensland, Australia. After graduating, he majored in solar physics in his post-grad honours year.”

    In this world of résumé-padding, that could mean almost anything— (e.g., he studied physics [for a week before switching his major to art history] ).

    Similarly, “he majored in solar physics in his post-grad honours year” does not exactly inspire confidence in his background.

    What is the reason for labeling him a “cartoonist?” I’m genuinely curious and would like to use the same label if I can be persuaded of its accuracy.

  34. He’s a comedy villain, right down to the acrobatic eyebrows and the slitty eyes when trying to shock. Sorry, the man’s a tit, and an arrogant one at that. Might I recommend simply ignoring him? They hate that, you know…

    p.s. His conclusions, when you strip away the fancy words clearly chosen to sound impressive, are childish. How exactly did he come by the title of Professor? It certainly wasn’t through demonstrating complex thought.

  35. interestingly enough, I have found, in my life that most of the true “psychotics” that I become aware of tend to be members of the association of psychologists. They have done to “crazy” what Hansen has done to science. Neither seem to actually know what they are talking about.

  36. Makes my skin crawl. Imagine being stuck in that class for six months. This is, of course, pure obfuscation and their work is irrelevant to the questions of CO2 and global warming. My personal experience is that the majority of people, global warmers amd “Deniers”, don’t know much about the subject and do not read extensively about it. It is those people that this kind of press release is geared for; Lewandowsky et. al. understand that people are influinced by these press blurbs.
    One hears them at the top of every hour on the radio, about this study or that suggesting this or that. The devil is always in the details. Areas of study, like climate, economics, biology, environment and sociology are fraught with unkown variables and so a skeptical approach is advisable. Some of the policies that are being proposed demand opposition, They will affect all of us in profound ways.

  37. The thing is you could apply their criteria to almost any controversial topic in the blogosphere and you’d get pretty much the same result. In fact, if one were to apply those self same criteria to warmist blogs, that is EXACTLY what you would get. A conspiracy theory about Big Oil’s funding of skeptics as part of an insidious plot to destroy the world while becoming fabulously wealthy. Not to mention some ideation and a whole whack of counterfactual thinking.

    Maybe whacko counterfactual thinking would be more accurate?

  38. Weren’t there a few other threads on this guy? I hope someone will publish those additional links here.

    Incidentally, I don’t suppose Dr. Loo bothered to take WUWT’s self-survey into account, which found the opposite of his results.

    I hope his paper does get published. In five years it’ll be the most cited article in that journal’s history. It’ll be referenced as often as Reefer Madness. Go for it!

  39. I figured I’d take a look to see what they are offering in the way of answers to “climate questions” at the website up there in glowing lights, http://www.news.uwa.edu.au

    It’s your typical university news aggregation website. I looked at the first 100 articles. Regarding climate, I found three. Dang, it’s a new consensus, 97% of the articles at UWA don’t care about climate science …

    One was about a miniature probe for collecting weather data in crop fields. One was about a university scientist going to Antarctica sometime to study climate.

    The third one was actually interesting, it starts out:

    ‘Wicked’ problems devastate pristine Coral Reef

    Human activity – rather than climate change – has been found to be the main cause of catastrophic devastation to a southern Indian Ocean coral reef system similar to Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef.

    If that’s their idea of how to counteract the pernicious effects of WUWT’s nasty habit of spreading truth to the masses, they’ve got a ways to go …

    w.

  40. Just watched his ravings about peer review.

    According to him ‘deniers’ are sneaky enough to publish their work on the internet! Or in books!

    The sneaky bastards! Keeping their work so secret that anybody who wants to find it must have a browser..or be able to find Amazon! Can you imagine anything more underhand?

  41. LowRoad says:
    February 5, 2013 at 8:36 am
    “If governments, corporations and grant receivers didn’t lie so much to cover their arses and/or protect their ripoffs, “Conspiracist ideation” wouldn’t be as rampant. Recent discoveries come to mind:

    http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/Divers-find-ammunition-in-sunken-Lusitania

    It was never in doubt that the Lusitania carried war supplies. Even wikipedia admits it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Lusitania#Controversies

  42. PS: I notice that we contrarians aren’t being put in the same bag as “foes of fluoridation,” although it’s a perfect parallel: The forces of science, 97% arrayed in consensus, against reds-under-the bed cranks and conspiracy theorists (It’s a plot by aluminum companies to dispose of their waste at a profit.) The problem with this perfect parallel is that it’s broken down in the end. Europe and Russia have backed away from it, which their tooth decay rates have declined. And the evidence of fluoride’s harm and/or low benefit has accumulated. Check Wikipedia.

    So drawing a parallel would not serve their case.

    It ought to make them stop and think that maybe “science” (as presented to us) can be overselling something, and the cranks can have a point.

  43. “Lewpaper” – well done, brilliant. For US readers who don’t know what that is, ask a Brit.

  44. When I lived in Perth the joke used be, Toget into UWA you had to read and write, to get into Curtin read or write, to get into Murdoch know someone that could read or write. What an embarrassment having these people associated with UWA.

  45. Mindert Eiting says:
    February 5, 2013 at 8:43 am
    cui bono says, etc. Lewandowsky does social psychology. Some parts of psychology (you probably never have heard of) are considered serious science. Social psychology has a hard time as recently two Dutch social psychologists proved to be involved with data manipulation and fraud. Lewandowsky does not make the situation any better.

    A housemate of mine back in the eighties took an ‘Introduction to Psychology’ module alongside his main subject. During the first lecture his class was told that the only reason anyone ever studied psychology was their worry about their own thoughts. Having watched the video clips above that seems plausible.

  46. “They must really hate climate skeptics to stoop this low, that’s about the only thing that makes sense, because this surely isn’t about science, but is clearly an emotional issue for them.”

    Right on the nose! Rational debate with them is impossible.

    Their attempted use of the words ‘recursive’ and ‘counterfactual’ amounts to nonsense. They have no idea of their own limitations.

  47. Fred ftom Canuckistan . . . says:
    February 5, 2013 at 9:21 am
    “Hmmmm . . . as sanity starts to return to climate science, as data triumphs over computer models, as thought leaders in the field start to climb down from their years of Fear Mongering, these fools are just plumbing new depths of desperation driven by the concept that their time in the limelight is up, their reputations are toast and their careers are over.”

    Oh, I wish it were true. I pray that it will become true. However, given the sorry state of academia in the postmodern age, Lewandowsky and friends might publish a book that becomes a best seller among some academic sociologists. There are some sociologists who do first rate work but they tend to be in departments that emphasize mathematical applications such as departments of agricultural economics.

  48. @ Theo Goodwin, it is not sceptics that they hate, its self loathing, trademark of the anti-humanist order, everytime they pass a mirror their frenzy grows.

  49. Grant says: “Imagine being stuck in that class for six months” That’s a very good point. I don’t know whether Lew actually teaches, but it would be such a betrayal of science and learning to have somebody who is such a bigot taking classes. What sort of example would it give?

  50. Not sure I understand this at all. Sure, the words are English, but some seemed to be made of roots from some words glued to the stems of others, which sounds like you’re reading something written by the head of social services in Islington borough council. Maybe it was, although she liked to use the word “silo” a lot.

    But, would I be correct if I inferred that this “project” basicaly consists of him scanning climate science blogs using some kind of language interpreting algorithm, looking for evidence that posters may be exhibiting conspiracy theories? And this tells him that climate science . . I mean climate science blogs are. . . Sorry, I thought I had it for a moment, but completely stuck, I’m afraid

  51. Dear Horse, to the famous statement that prediction is difficult, especially if it is about the future, I would add that judgement is difficult, especially if it requires knowledge of the subject.

  52. to John W. Garrett and others who are new to the story:
    The original research claiming a link between denying climate change (?) and denying the moon landings was first publicised by cognitive psychologist Adam Corner in an article in the Guardian in August 2012, a month before it became available as a “prepublished” paper. The Guardian article attracted 1300 comments, but since most informed sceptics are banned there, the debate didn’t advance until the same article was published on Dr Corner’s government sponsored “how to win friends and beat the sceptics” site “talkingclimate”, where it was roundly demolished by a number of us in the comments, and was defended by no-one.
    Debate continued at WUWT, BishopHill, Climate Resistance, Joanne Nova’s and parrticularly at SkepticalScience and at Lew’s university blog, shapingtomorrowsworld, where, despite harsh moderation, a number of direct hits were scored in the comments. When Steve McIntyre joined in at Climate Audit, it seemed to be all over, particularly as the paper has still not appeared in the monthly journal where it was announced five months ago.
    I claim credit for another conspiracy theory beside the one with which I am credited in LOG12. The original paper claimed that respondents were sought on eight “consensus” sites, and this claim is repeated in the current paper. One site in New Zealand was completely inactive, and there was no sign of any invitation to participate at SkepticalScience, the site founded by John Cook, where Lewandowsky is a participant and sometime moderator. (SkepticalScience is the most prominent of the sites mentioned and could be expected to furnish the largest number of informants). John Cook informed me in private correspondence that he has no clear memory of the event, but he imagines he must have removed the invirtation to participate in the survey from the site. Yet there is no record on Wayback, which was sampling SkS every month.
    Furthermore, in private correspondence between SkepticalScience authors which was leaked on the internet in March 2012, (in mails dating from after September 2011, when the research took place) John Cook refers several times to Lewandowsky, his intention to co-operate with him in some kind of on-line research, and even to using the database of SkepticalScience visitors, broken down into sceptics and believers, in that research. How could Cook be talking about ideas for forthcoming research in these terms to his fellow authors, if an invitation to take part in such research had already appeared on the site?
    The claim that respondents from eight sites were used, and that Skeptical Science was one of them, made in the original still-awaiting-publication paper, and repeated in the new one, would therefore seem to be false.

  53. What I have seen all my life, people making ludicrous claims affecting the lives of other people and at the same time making money from it. WA University should get rid of the likes of that L person. Where are the facts? They operate under illusions.

  54. In the video clips and elsewhere, Lewandowsky’s excessive use of the logical falacies ‘argument from authority’ and ‘strawman argument ‘ are surprising given his claim to be a prof of psychology. If Lewandowsky is representative of the field, then it paints psychology as a somewhat ill disciplined field badly in need of some training in basic logic.

  55. Lewandowsky isn’t really a psychologist. He’s part of an alien plot to destroy the earth by pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from canisters hidden in asteroids.

    Lewandowsky with the help of cybernetic organisms, known as Mannions, have been sent to Earth on a dastardly mission to persuade Earthlings that global warming isn’t true by claiming that it is true. They are using ingenious techniques called counterfactual conspiracy-ideation mind control.

    The NSA using their Frequency Agile Solar Radiotelescope have intercepted messages proving that Lewandowsky and his cyborg Mannions are receiving secret messages sent from the sun.

    The latest alien transmissions have been cunningly encoded in electromagnetic waves bounced off the chromospheric network structure. The messages have been codenamed Alien Region 1667. The NSA are trying to keep it hush hush, but I know that the number 1667 is an apocalyptic power containing the consecutive digits 666, the number of the beast.

    The top secret name of this plan has been given the acronym UWA, meaning Unsuccessful Work Attempt. I know this because someone very important told me.

    My psychiatrist told me to tell you I’m joking.

  56. The AGW hoax is all but over and most of the weasels with half a brain are trying to find a way out. Yet Cook and Lewandowsky just keep digging their hole deeper. Do they have a super secret exit plan? A Soros payout? Sadly my conspiracy ideation is not up to the task of providing a credible explanation for their continued excavation activities. The only thing I can see is that these two are likely so crazed that they believe the hoax can be reanimated. After September I expect these two to be sporting canvas jackets with extra long sleeves. A little rest at a quiet facility where the nurses and orderlies speak quietly and calmly may be required. “The Eureka prize? But of course you did.”…”Still in press? That’s a shame… any day now I expect”…”Now let’s just get a tissue for the foam on your chin shall we?”

  57. “… Here’s the latest Lewpaper:”
    [+emphasis]

    May I respectfully suggest an alternate spelling: Loopaper

  58. A quick look at this new “scientific” paper does not confront the fundamental questions raised about Lewandowsky et al 2012. That is, how can the thesis that “climate deniers sceptics tend to believe in cranky conspiracy theories” be demonstrated when
    – The sample was biased through only being on pro-AGW blogs?
    – There were no conspiracy-type questions that pro-AGW blogs promote, like big oil or tobacco funding of skepticism?
    – There was only a highly specialized statistical technique used for correlations, and no summary of the responses to relate those results to data?
    – There is a dogmatic rejection of low-level statistical analysis?
    There was no attempt in either paper to acknowledge that there might be quite strong, legitimate reasons to reject some or all of the global warming hypothesis. These can be statistical, or scientific, or something more basically human. If you exclude, denigrate or misrepresent views with which you disagree, then people holding those views will not be won over. If you dogmatically state your views as being the only truth possible, or fail to acknowledge error when it is there for all to see, then people will start distrusting every word you say.

  59. John W. Garrett says: “The SkS crowd appears to be singularly dodgy and slippery lot.”

    While you’re wasting time responding to their lies, you’re not normally thinking of “dodgy and slippery”.

  60. /sarc on…

    He is really an alien lizard overlord disguised as a human being… The alien lizard overlords control everything from a secret bunker on the far side of the moon…I love tin foil hats…

    /sarc off…

  61. Lewpaper sounds like the uncouth terminology for toilet paper but I think I’d shy away from that use.

    Other than that the whole proposition appears valueless.

  62. @Andrew Pattullo
    “does not in any way impact my firm belief, again based on scientific evidence that HIV is the cause of AIDS, nor does it blind me to the enormous beneficial impact that understanding has had to those suffering from AIDS through more effective therapies and prevention.”

    Anytime I see irrational persecution of a notable figure that wants to investigate areas that are against the consensus, I immediately become deeply interested in what the other side has to say. In your field, at least two of those people would be Dr. Peter Duesberg and Celia Farber. And, to me, they are far more logical than the “consensus” data that appears to be on a par with that of climate alarmists. However I do realize that medical professionals are somewhat in a bind in regard to side stepping approved medicinal procedures even if they were otherwise convinced to do so and, this factor, much like the AGW group, would tend to inhibit recognition of alternative views from sources other than the AMA, NIH, FDA and their ilk. Two historical examples of medical advances that come to mind that were vehemently rejected by the majority opinion, were those of Semmelweis and more recently, Barry Marshall/Robin Warren.

  63. GACK, This is an example of what is now found in Universities?!? GAG….

    From now on I am recommending apprenticeships or at most trade schools.

    PS. I want all my tax money refunded that was spent on universities or university grants.

  64. Paul Carter says:
    February 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    In the video clips and elsewhere, Lewandowsky’s excessive use of the logical falacies ‘argument from authority’ and ‘strawman argument ‘ are surprising given his claim to be a prof of psychology. If Lewandowsky is representative of the field, then it paints psychology as a somewhat ill disciplined field badly in need of some training in basic logic.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Seems he is in very good company. Given the major black eye that the Stapel fraud has given the field of psychology I am surprised he is deliberately setting out to damage the fields reputation even further.

    University World News: Dean may face data fraud charges

    …..Stapel is well known in the Dutch media as a commentator on social issues, having published extensively on people’s values and attitudes, often presenting controversial research results that prompted public debate.

    In April 2011, Stapel published an article with Siegwart Lindenberg of the University of Groningen in the prestigious journal Science with the title: “Coping with Chaos: How disordered contexts promote stereotyping and discrimination”…..

    Another alleged research result, not yet published in a scientific article but as a press release announcing ongoing co-authored research, has gained much publicity in the Netherlands, for the claim that “meat eaters are more selfish than vegetarians”. In the words of Stapel in the press release: “It seems likely that vegetarians and flexitarians are happier and feel better, and they are also more sociable and less lonely.”

    The Levelt report describes how Stapel worked when collaborating with other researchers, stating that the “trust in the scientific integrity of Stapel was absolute. The last thing that colleagues, staff and students would suspect is that, of all people, the department’s scientific star, a faculty dean, would systematically betray that trust.”….
    …………

    A Tilburg University inquiry has recommended that details of forgery of documents and fraud committed by Diederik Stapel, a leading social psychologist, should be passed to the Dutch public prosecution service.

    The inquiry found that Stapel, former professor of cognitive social psychology and dean of Tilburg’s school of social and behavioural sciences, fabricated data published in at least 30 scientific publications, inflicting “serious harm” on the reputation and career opportunities of young scientists entrusted to him.

    Some 35 co-authors are implicated in the publications, dating from 2000 to 2006 when he worked at the University of Groningen. In 14 out of 21 PhD theses where Stapel was a supervisor, the theses were written using data that was allegedly fabricated by him….

    The interim report, delivered on 31 October, said that at least 30 of the 150 papers Stapel had published were based on fictitious data.

    The interim report concludes that the extent of Stapel’s fraud is “very substantial”. It says: “The committee has already encountered several dozen publications in which use was made of fictitious data. The full list of these fraudulent publications will be presented jointly with the other committees in the final report, or before its release.

    “It has been established that the fabrication of data started even before the Tilburg period. The committee has concluded that publications from the Groningen period are also affected. The fraud has persisted for some considerable time: at any rate since 2004.”….

  65. There is more garbage coming from Lewandowsky. From a comment in the recent paper apparently he has done more work on the “LOG12″ (Moon landing) paper. after being exposed as a fraud when it comes to claims about the LOG12 work, seems Lew has expended even more research dollars and polished up the LOG12 turd:

    “The authors subsequently obtained a control sample via a professional survey firm in the U.S: This representative sample of 1,000 respondents replicated the results involving conspiracist ideation reported by LOG12 (Lewandowsky et al., 2013) ”

    …. and has submitted yet another paper for publication

    Lewandowsky, S., Gignac, G. E., & Oberauer, K. (2013). The role of conspiracist ideation and worldviews in predicting rejection of science. Manuscript submitted for publication.

  66. James Allison says:
    February 5, 2013 at 10:34 am

    “What the hell does conspiracist ideation mean – in simple words.”

    1. Heretics reading from non-Church approved Gospels 2. People who disagree, disagreeing, 3. Day-Glow Orange and Blue Ants with elephant heads crawling all over him, singing the Flying Monkey refrain from The Wizard of OZ.

    1.
    2.
    3.
    4. all of the above

    Mark your answer here: ________________________

  67. Seriously, “Ideation” is Code for “Doesn’t think properly, as evidenced by disagreement with Me/Us”

  68. I have to first admit to being an Aussie for which I humbly request your forgiveness. As the old joke goes – Let’s send him to [country of your choice] and we will raise the IQ level at both ends. (snip if you feel so inclined]

    Loo lost me after claiming that nothing is true unless published in peer reviewed publications but then destroys his own argument by also claiming that the anti-AGW articles that are in peer reviewed publications are incorrect, fraudulent and in through the back door by nefarious editors.

    Perhaps the good professor could enlighten us all as to what evidence he would require to change his opinion as he seems willing to discount anything that goes against his current beliefs.

  69. Betapug says:

    Some history behind the sci-fi cartooning (which he tried to make a pay-per-view) begun after receiving his PhD in Astrophysics:

    Cook never received a PhD in anything.

  70. Poptech, you are right “Cook never received a PhD in anything”, this from Amazon:

    “With an undergraduate education in physics from the University of Queensland and a post-graduate honors year studying solar physics, Cook says his interest in climate science was sparked when he was given a copy of a speech by Oklahoma Republican Senator James Inhofe, most known to climate professionals for having attached the “greatest hoax known to man” tag to anthropogenic climate change.

    It was 2007, and Cook was working from his home in web programming and database programming, something he still does to earn a living, generally working with small local Australian businesses — local doctors, beauty salons, cartoonists, and promotional product companies.”

  71. When I studied sociology in the ’70s, I managed to keep a realist position (and ‘humanist’ in a certain sense, against the murderous abstractions of French marxists like Althusser), and for many years after that, I was happily disconnected from sociology and psychology, and other ‘humanities’, being more interested in economic development, science, Buddhism, and various other things (ignorance is bliss). In the last decade or so I’ve been working in education in Mexico and have had to deal with some of the ’90s and ’00s academic trends – especially constructivism and its ilk. As a theory of learning, as proposed by Vygotsky, constructivism has a lot going for it. However, more recently it’s got mixed up with all sorts of really stupid stuff, for example, cultural and epistemological relativism, and even extreme idealism (i.e. the idea that nothing exists objectively or externally, all that we experience is only internal to the mind – leading rather rapidly to solipsism). Relativism and idealism are the polar opposites of science: science assumes (and, I think, its results demonstrate) that there is an objective world which we can discover, even if it’s difficult, and even if we can often be mistaken. With a relativist or idealist view, there are no errors, only interpretations, so no evidence can actually break or contradict the ideas of a relativist or idealist. I strongly suspect that Lewandowsky is in this tradition, and to be honest, there’s not much you can do with such pepsichologists: because of their relativism, they’re actually closed to any criticism or serious debate (for example, a true relativist will say, for example, that astrology is an equally valid mode of knowledge as astronomy or scientific forecasting, or that the folk beliefs of some admired indigenous culture about health are as valid as modern medicine). It’s a dialogue with the deaf, sadly.

  72. Mindert Eiting says:
    February 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm
    Dear Horse, to the famous statement that prediction is difficult, especially if it is about the future, I would add that judgement is difficult, especially if it requires knowledge of the subject.

    Twas a joke, Mindert…

    Mind you, we all make judgements about people every day and my immediate impression was not one of someone who ‘fits his skin’.

  73. Peter, John Cook continues to try to desperately hide his cartoonist background,

    Skeptical Science in 2007 explicitly said,

    http://web.archive.org/web/20071213172906/www.skepticalscience.com/page.php?p=3

    “I’m not a climatologist or a scientist but a self employed cartoonist

    Click on the “self employed cartoonist” link takes you to his SEV cartoonist page,

    http://web.archive.org/web/20070831125255/http://wiki.sev.com.au/About-Us

    “John Cook: A cartoonist working from home in Brisbane, Australia,

    He is trying to massage being a cartoonist for over a decade into “graphic design”,

    http://www.gci.uq.edu.au/AboutUs/JohnCook.aspx

    “After graduating, he spent over a decade working in graphic design and web programming.”

    It is so sad to see all the alarmists listening to cartoonist about climate science.

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