Some thoughts on the recent Lewandowsky-Cook conspiracy theory

Reversing Curie

Guest post by Tom Fuller from The Lukewarmer’s Way

The online journal Frontiers promises open access and peer review. They have recently published Stefan Lewandowsky’s paper ‘Recursive Fury: conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation’.  So yes, access there is pretty open. Not so sure which peers reviewed this one, though.

In it, Lewandowsky describes the reactions of commenters to the publication of another paper, “NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science”

This paper was based on an internet survey so bad that it beggars belief. Invitations were posted on the websites of climate activists and Lewandowsky and John Cook of Skeptical Science discussed the survey and nudged activists to go over there and phony up the results. They did.

Lewandowsky is a charlatan. His latest paper, co-authored by John Cook, is a flight of fantasy that ignores the fact that most of the comments that he labels ‘recursive fury’ were polite mentions of the fact that he Cooked the books in his survey–a survey he claims is published, but is not.

I play a minor role in this. As someone who has worked in the field of online research pretty much from the day online research started, I have participated in literally thousands of online surveys. I commented on Lewandowsky’s weblog posts concerning his survey, pointing out some of the (many) issues with what he had done and asking for a look at the questionnaire.

Lewandowsky deleted all of my comments. And his latest paper, which has a Data Supplement showing the ‘recursive fury’, which apparently means cherry picking a few of the comments he didn’t like, doesn’t mention my deleted comments for some reason.

In addition to biasing the sample, Lewandowsky presented different versions of the survey to respondents coming from different websites. His ‘conspiracists’ from the skeptic world were outnumbered by ‘conspiracists’ from the climate activist community. He has not published the data, despite promising to do so and claiming that he has.

He has clearly read the criticisms of his paper–indeed, he includes some of them in his data supplement. So there is no real reason to excuse him for what he has perpetrated on the scientific community in his latest effort.

Online Ed Fraud

He’s not doing either his field or science in general any favors. In fact he’s helping destroy a tradition and methodology that has advanced human progress immeasurably.

He doesn’t care.

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UPDATE: It seems Lewandowsky is seeing conspiracy everywhere, even at the Met Office. Jeff Condon has the details:

Lewandowsky – Strike Three!! What a riot!

Lewandowsky has placed a comment in his supplementary information from the excellent bishop Hill blog, authored by fellow conspiracy theorist Richard Betts:

The thing I don’t understand is, why didn’t they just make a post on sceptic blogs themselves, rather than approaching blog owners. They could have posted as a Discussion topic here at Bishop Hill without even asking the host, and I very much doubt that the Bish would have removed it. Climate Audit also has very light-touch moderation and I doubt whether Steve McIntyre would have removed such an unsolicited post. Same probably goes for many of the sceptic blogs, in my experience. So it does appear to that they didn’t try very hard to solicit views from the climate sceptic community.

 Unfortunately for Lewandowsky, this is Richard Betts

More here

58 thoughts on “Some thoughts on the recent Lewandowsky-Cook conspiracy theory

  1. He is a has been as far as critical thinking ability. You expect WAY to much from a person with such a terminal case of Skeptical Science Syndrome

  2. See this just makes me furious. In fact, my fury is bounded only by the number of fury frames I can fit on my stack.

    Oh wait, sorry, I think I was recursively furious earlier today. But maybe that’s what the conspiracy is all about! Lewandowsky’s trying to induce system crashes in all bot brains like mine by triggering recursive fury! I’m even more furious now! Oh crud, there we go again, only 2 stack frames left! The sheer nefarious intent of his diabolical ideation, though! Gahhh – gotta get out of here, last stack fra

    Kernel panic – not syncing: Aieee, killing interrupt handler!

  3. Camburn,

    I read him as more of a “never was” than a “has been” when it comes to critical thinking ability.

  4. After all is said and done, L & C’s silly nonsense is seen as an example of an ad hominem
    logical fallacy repackaged using psychobabble pretensions. Apparently none of the rabid AGW crowd has ever set foot inside a philosophy 101 class,

  5. I think Lewandowsky actually does care – like Gleick, IMO Lewandowsky thinks his noble cause trumps all normal considerations of honesty or fairness. If I am right, his role, in his eyes, is not to analyse climate skepticism, but to crush it – to stigmatise it, to make it unacceptable to be a skeptic in polite company.

  6. Like I have said many times,,,,,,,

    Bring out the polygragh test and answer just 3 questions!

    Pardon my attempt at levity :-)

    LOL, could you pass?

  7. Looks like anyone can be published here–more of an ego driven form of publishing than a “community” driven, as they they claim. Here is what they say about themselves:

    PUBLISHING MODEL
    – Community-driven journals, with more than 25,000 world-renowned scientists as editors;– “Gold” open access for all articles, under the CC-BY Creative Commons license – the least restrictive CC license;– Frontiers Peer-Review: rigorous, fair, constructive, transparent & efficient as enabled by our custom-built “Review Forum” web software;– Frontiers Impact Evaluation: article impact metrics for all publications;– Frontiers Tier-Climbing: high impact research articles “climb the tier” as “Focused Reviews” to reach a broader audience.

  8. Reminds me. I sent a complaint to the ‘university’ that channels taxpayers money to this charlatan recently. Must be due for a reply soon. Might just follow that up.
    As an Australian taxpayer who is struggling to keep a small business going I cannot say that I am thrilled at how my taxes are being squandered.

  9. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see an outline of the ‘conspiracy’ (by conspiracy I mean deliberate, planned collusion between a small group of individuals to ensure a pre-determined outcome)…wouldn’t it be interesting to see the mechanics of an ‘actual’ conspiracy, that has resulted in an entire field of science being discredited?
    Perhaps someone will assemble the Climategate emails between UEA/Mann/BBC etc etc in such a way that we can understand how they pulled it off.

  10. With your credentials, I hope you follow up with the journal. The may respond properly to these charges because of your credibility. Make it clear that it’s a matter of their reputation. Worst case is you have content for another post on the sorry state of research publishing.

  11. Back when I was much dumber than today (yes, I know there are acquaintances who would consider that an impossible achievement, but I must respectfully disagree) I actually used to genuinely argue with the lunatics who stood on the city street corners with their placards or signs while they loudly barked at all of us less enlightened beings to repent, save our souls or some such, for the end times, the judgement, or some such, was near.

    I will admit that it took far longer than it should have for me to realize that reasoned discourse with psychopaths was generally impossible. When the tardy realization finally took hold I determined to do what was in my best interest, which was to ignore the living hell out of them. Now I can’t ignore a fly, a hang nail, a sore tooth, a mosquito, bed bugs, ticks, gnats, rodents, snakes, blood sucking vampires, but dammit, I can ignore a lunatic who screams out on a street corner that I must save my soul. And, I don’t know, but Lewandowsky certainly bears a resemblance. No, not necessarily to a fly, hang nail, sore tooth, mosquito, bed bugs, ticks, gnats, rodents, snakes, or blood sucking vampires (although he most certainly might). But definitely to those lunatics who hang out on city street corners.

    Of course, maybe they bear a resemblance to him.

  12. “He’s not doing either his field or science in general any favours. In fact he’s helping destroy a tradition and methodology that has advanced human progress immeasurably.

    He doesn’t care.”

    Corruption of science is endemic. Climategate, the ensuing cover-up “enquiries” and the near total silence from other branches of science has simple made this sorry state of affairs publicly visible.

    The reason there has been no outcry from other branches of science that climatologists put their house in order is that they fear the spot-light may be turned on their own fields.

    The public’s quaint idea of rigorous, objective science needs a reboot. It got left behind somewhere in the late 19th century.

    Sadly, science has become a faith-based orthodoxy, very similar to what was in place when the church controlled learning and knowledge.

  13. Warmists: Hey! Let’s just s*it can science and go right to calling our enemies names! This science thing ain’t working out anyway!

  14. …Lewandowsky describes the reactions of commenters to the publication of another paper, “NASA faked the moon landing…”
    ——————————————
    This video that claims Stanley Kubrick filmed a faux Apollo moon landing for NASA:

    Kinda long and tedious, but interesting to consider that the people who made this video actually seem to believe it. Yikes!

  15. Watching that sneaky & shifty video of Lewandowsky ‘explaining’ his position did it for me. He’s about one of the creepiest people in the game.

  16. Lewandowsky is a product of his own conspiracy, it seems if you can verify one, you make one up truly mind over matter and commonsense. But then the guy doesn’t have much of that commonsense, just and elevated Gleikian perchant for making things up.
    He would go well in a clown suit, in keeping with his associates adept at making up, and mucking up. Sad really that he gets paid to do this at a university that should know better.

  17. Tom Fuller
    You’re too modest about your “minor” contribution. Lew couldn’t stand a voice of sanity from outside the normal “denier” fraternity.
    The Lew/Cook “moderation” policy went haywire at shapingtomorrowsworld and SkS. One of my snipped comments has actually been demoderated back to life so it can figure as evidence of my conspiracist ideation.
    There’s a discussion between all those who’ve made it to the Lew Roll of Honour at

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/discussion/post/2091932

    and I’ve been looking at below the line reactions on the “New Frontiers” site from a couple of Australian professors every bit as weird as Lew at

    http://geoffchambers.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/lews-crew-the-plot-sickens/

  18. “Wouldn’t it be interesting to see an outline of the ‘conspiracy’ (by conspiracy I mean deliberate, planned collusion between a small group of individuals to ensure a pre-determined outcome)…”

    No problem – check out the private SKS forums discussions that were left public and archived and published online.

    Or John Cook and other silly Reality project – with Al Gore – using spambots to identify skeptic comments and automatically attack by posting their own beliefs.

    What Lewandowsky is practicing, and working to perfect, is PUNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY – using the guise of scholarly work to attack, denigrate and try to de-ligitimize those who dare disagree with he and his cause.

    There oughta be a law. We can call it the Lew Law. Which is perfectly fitting.

  19. …He’s not doing either his field or science in general any favors. In fact he’s helping destroy a tradition and methodology that has advanced human progress immeasurably….

    Apropos of that, I note that this year is the 800 anniversary of Roger Bacon, the Franciscan friar who invented Scientific Methodology.

    It is staggering that there seems to be no recognition of this event being celebrated anywhere in the world. But then, I’m pretty sure of what Friar Bacon would say if he could see what they have been doing to his invention…

  20. Like Mann , Lewandowsky does much good work for the very ideas they hate , so while their shooting themselves in the foot leave them to it .
    Has for the damage this is doing science in general, that comes from its own silence over his poor actions and silence that has been seen time and again when it comes to ‘the Teams’ little ‘tricks , so its merely self inflicted damage .

  21. I fear the comments in this thread are merely going to fuel a further recursive recursive fury paper, leading to a potentially hazardous fury loop.

    On a serious note, people like the real Richard Betts can’t exist in Lewendowsky’s fevered imagination, where only a fellow villain would treat a CAGW sceptic with respect. His behaviour seems symptomatic of an intellectually failed academic acting out a revenge fantasy on a group, easy to avoid due to their stigmatisation (therefore no real threat) that has become a conduit for his hatred against those who have probably wronged him in the past.

  22. Where are the other academic psychologists? Are they happy with this paper standing as an example of their work? My ideation reels.

  23. This is merely stage 2. Stage 1 being when they lose the scientific argument. Stage 2 represents trying to portray the opposition as crazies. Stage 3 is when they get violent.

  24. All this talk about conspiracy is clearly subconscious projection since neighter Lew or Cook can be oblivious to climategate. Someone, maybe a psychologist, more likely a psychiatrist, should write a paper on that.

  25. “See this just makes me furious. In fact, my fury is bounded only by the number of fury frames I can fit on my stack.”

    Well using “C” makes you prone to stack thrashes. If you use Forth you can avoid being framed and thrashed.

  26. Dodgy Geezer said:
    “Apropos of that, I note that this year is the 800 anniversary of Roger Bacon, the Franciscan friar who invented Scientific Methodology.

    It is staggering that there seems to be no recognition of this event being celebrated anywhere in the world.”

    -That is a good observation. The scientist who was well-recognized on his recent hallmark birthday was Darwin. In fact, Darwin Day is a fairly well-promoted annual observation.

    Darwin received recognition because, of all scientists, he is the one we can go to for denying God, since we now have a fairly workable, although tautological, scientific versus supernatural explanation for where we came from. His theorizing allows us to support our atheism as scientifically-based, placing humans proudly at the pinnacle of all of creation.

  27. A. Scott says:
    March 21, 2013 at 1:22 am:
    There oughta be a law. We can call it the Lew Law. Which is perfectly fitting.

    I believe that is the Loo Law. Circular reasoning at its best.

  28. JJB MKI says:
    March 21, 2013 at 2:57 am

    I fear the comments in this thread are merely going to fuel a further recursive recursive fury paper, leading to a potentially hazardous fury loop.

    On a serious note, people like the real Richard Betts can’t exist in Lewendowsky’s fevered imagination, where only a fellow villain would treat a CAGW sceptic with respect.
    ——————
    Too funny! I don’t feel so all alone now, knowing that Betts is apparently wearing the same tinfoil hat I am. :)

    Gotta be careful with those fury loops, they’ve got a way of getting out of hand. Pretty soon everybody except Cook and Lewandowski are going to be part of the conspiracy.

  29. Dodgy Geezer says:
    March 21, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Apropos of that, I note that this year is the 800 anniversary of Roger Bacon, the Franciscan friar who invented Scientific Methodology.

    Ah, that would be gun powder that Roger invented. Conspiracy theory says he really learned of it from wandering Chinese – who had already invented it – but I think it was simply a parallel.

    Sir Francis Bacon, who was an Elizabethan, is the “inventor” of the scientific method. You want to look at the New Organon where he delineates his ideas. Bacon’s approach is rather backward to what we consider the SM today. He assumes that lots of things go on in nature, that scientists will observe them, and that from these observations, they will induce (not deduce) explanatory hypothesis. Once these are formed then they can be tested. Modern scientific method emphasizes the importance of how explanatory hypotheses are formed, and focuses on the deductive utility, predictive capacity and general utility of the hypothesis. If it generally meets these requirements, it gets to graduate to the status of theory. Thus, by that standard, the Greenhouse Effect, though misnamed, is a theory, while AGW is still merely a hypothesis. However, we more permissive and democratic these days.

    Bacon’s approach was profoundly important because it is based on an assumption of essential ignorance. He emphasized that not only must observations be made of phenomena in nature, but that they had to be repeatable. This repeatability requirement is a weakness in any historical science such as climatology.

  30. philjourdan says:
    March 21, 2013 at 5:19 am

    This is merely stage 2. Stage 1 being when they lose the scientific argument. Stage 2 represents trying to portray the opposition as crazies. Stage 3 is when they get violent.

    Don’t leave out stage 4:

    “First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you.”
    — Gandhi

  31. The FACT that this guy is inept and makes stuff up yet retains his place at the table is proof in a conspiracy theory; The powers that be empower and reward anyone willing to creatify … well, anything that supports their plans/position/agenda/tax-grabs/control-freakery/world-government/&c.,

  32. Duster says:

    “… AGW is still merely a hypothesis.”

    I prefer “conjecture”, since AGW is neither testable nor measurable. If at some future point someone produces a verifiable, falsifiable measurement of AGW, then it becomes a testable hypothesis.

    The alarmist crowd always skirts around the fact that there are no empirical measurements showing that changes in CO2 cause changes in temperature — while there are lots of real world measurements, on all time scales out to hundreds of millennia, showing that ∆T causes ∆CO2.

    Climate alarmists simply have cause and effect reversed, so it is no wonder that their conclusions are wrong. They started from a faulty premise, and now they are stuck trying to defend it.

  33. How about this qoute, also from our conspiracy ideation quote-mining climate expert Lewandowsky, about The Australian:

    the australian isn’t doing what it’s doing “for fun” or because they don’t know better. they know. but they have an agenda.

    Lewandowsky knows, he just knows as he always has!

  34. Lew & crew are at a similar point in the AGW debacle where Sen. Joe McCarthy was in the Red Scare when he claimed to see commie plots in every part of life. Lew & crew are seeing evil conspiratorialists in every e-mail that dares to disagree with them. And if they have to ‘salt the mine’ to illustrate their point better, well it is all for a good cause. Just ask Peter Gleick or the late Dr. Schneider about the importance of being….flexible…..in the important work of silencing climate denialist scum in the employ of the Koch Brothers and Big Oil. Lew & crew are clearly upholding that tradition and exploring new frontiers to add to it.

  35. Bob says (March 21, 2013 at 4:49 am):
    “academic psychologists” is an oxymoron.

    Lol.

    Dodgy Geezer says: (re Roger Bacon)
    —–

    James Blish’s historical novel about Roger Bacon, ‘Doctor Mirabilis’ seems to be still in print. Highly recommended, although difficult if you’re unfamiliar with the medieval worldview. I have a tattered paperback from a misspent childhood.

    Bacon spent 13 years in prison for advocating the separation of scientific and theological knowledge. Perhaps a parallel to today’s climate religionists and ‘heretics’?

  36. Folks, don’t call it psychobabble – call it Nazibabble. These people aren’t crazy – they’re making a conscious choice to do evil.

    No they’re not, because they think they’re doing good, just as Hitler did.

  37. Folks, don’t call it psychobabble – call it Nazibabble. These people aren’t crazy – they’re making a conscious choice to do evil.

    No they aren’t, because they think they’re doing good, just as Hitler did.

  38. M Simon says:
    March 21, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Well using “C” makes you prone to stack thrashes. If you use Forth you can avoid being framed and thrashed.
    ——————-
    I’m too old to change. I’m afraid it’s my lot in life to be framed and thrashed.

  39. There is a similar use of surveys to produce the conclusion that opponents of windturbines must have psychological problems, from the University of Nottingham. In this case, people who claim to be affected by windturbine noise ars ‘worriers’ and are suffering from ‘neuroticism’.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9946617/Only-worriers-suffer-from-wind-farm-noise.html

    Do the contentions of Lewandowsky and this latest survey really represent the best of sociological analysis?

  40. Wouldn’t the whole Lewpy and deluded Cook affair make an excellent series research papers in the psychological world?

    Even develop a series of courses (freshman level of course) on exactly what an intelligent scientist should not do as they develop a research methodology, approach, tests and practice?

  41. Anthony/mods

    May I cross-post a comment I just made at Lewandowsky’s blog to pursue my complaint against them? (just in case it gets disappeared there).

    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/Recursive-Fury-Facts-misrepresentations.html

    Thanks guys!

    The fact that you’re continuing digging this collapsing hole will provide the sceptic community with more satisfaction than you can possibly imagine.

    I think you’ve missed the point that “recursive fury” seems to trigger massive seratonin release in it’s victims – keeping us in a continual state of hilarity.

    Now, on a more important note. I made a serious complaint here, and direct to both your universities, about fraudulent falsification in your paper of a quotation I made here.

    You twisted a remark I made suggesting Prof Lewandowsky had not contacted sceptic blog proprietors – to suggest that I believed no “human subjects” had taken your survey.

    This appears to be one of many calamitous errors in your work based on your clumsy attempt at an apology to Richard Betts above.

    My complaint was obvious taken seriously by somebody, since the offending sentence and link have disappeared from the pdf version of the “final published paper” on the Frontiers website.

    Sadly, the incompetence that has characterised all your work has prevailed and the offensive material still remains in “full text” online version of the paper on the website.

    This raises several issues:-

    1. The fact that the fraudulent and offensive statement has been removed from the pdf (and presumably print) version shows that you have acknowledged wrongdoing.

    2. The fact that it still appears in the final, published online text means that you have compounded the offence by continuing to publish material you know is wrong and offensive.

    3. The fact that there are now at least two current and different versions of the “final published paper” in circulation seems to make it worthless as a contribution to the peer reviewed academic literature.

    I will of course continue to pursue my complaint, and potential legal action, with your universities – until such time as a get a public retraction and apology in writing and on this blog.

    Meanwhile, I strongly suggest you withdraw this worthless paper, which is really just a mish-mash of its authors’ hysterical prejudices wrapped up in an unconvincing tissue of pseudo-acdemic jargon.

    Foxgoose

  42. Mark Bofill says:
    March 20, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    rts rts rts rts rts rts… …rts rts rts rts rts rts… Am I keeping up with your recursion? rts rts rts rts rts rts.. Oh shit, stack underflow!

    Anyone who says they’ve never done it, I call bullshit. ;-)

    DaveE.

  43. Dare I say Lewandowsky’s behavior borders on insanity. Amazingly enough, he is the one who sees conspiracies everywhere.

    (Cook of course needs no comment … simply a clown along for the ride. It is telling that Lewandowsky elected to go with such a co-author given all the academic connections he (Lewandowsky) should have.)

  44. I received a tweet this morning from John Cook so I thought I’d have a little look at the paper.

    It seems to me that they deliberately put out a questionable survey and then stood by and watched what would happen: “The overall pattern of the blogosphere’s response to LOG12″

    They imagine that “Internet sites such as blogs dedicated to a specific issue have therefore become hubs for science denial and they arguably play a major role in the creation and dissemination of conspiracist ideation.”

    So after poking the bees nest with a stick, they google the results every day to see what happens “Each of those 30 sites was then searched by Google for instances of the name of the first author of LOG12 that fell within the period 28 August-18 October 2012. Sites that returned more than 10 hits were considered a principal site, and they are shown in Table 1″

    Then they Identify the results as being conspiracies….

    “First, the presumed intentions behind any conspiracy (or just the survey) are invariably nefarious.”

    “[Second] self-perception and self-presentation among conspiracy theorists as the victims of organized persecution.” But if the survey was in fact a deliberate catalyst then the reaction is not a conspiracy

    “Third, during its questioning of an official account, conspiracist ideation is characterized by … an almost nihilistic degree of skepticism” Isn’t skepticism supposed to be the bedrock of science – especially when the survey is as flawed as it would appear this one is.

    “Fourth, to the conspiracy theorist, nothing happens by accident” The methodology here did not happen by accident. Perhaps the only thing that did happen by accident was an outage of Cooks website.

    “Fifth, the underlying lack of trust and exaggerated suspicion contribute to a cognitive pattern whereby specific hypotheses may be abandoned when they become unsustainable, but those corrections do not impinge on the overall abstraction that “something must be wrong” and the “official” account must be based on deception (Wood et al., 2012).” So in other words – when a hypothesis is falsified it is dropped but this does not detract from other observational hypotheses – No conspiracy here.

    “Finally, contrary evidence is often interpreted as evidence for a conspiracy.” which they choose not to back up at all.

    They then move on to discuss “Recursive Hypotheses” but notice that no other peer-reviewed psychological articles on conspiracist ideation published in 2012 score on this at all – making their paper an outlier.

    They then go on to examine the survey responses:
    “Survey responses “scammed” (1)” The evidence now suggests that some responses were indeed scammed – therefore not a conspiracy’
    .
    ““Skeptic” blogs not contacted (2)” They themselves admit that “a further 5 “skeptic” (or “skeptic”-leaning) blogs were approached but none posted the link.” Therefore from the viewpoint of any participants, links were indeed not posted on any skeptic blogs – therefore no conspiracy, When the skeptic bloggers looked back and found that they had indeed been contacted they posted to this effect and thus the lack of initial invitation was accepted as being false and thus dropped as a hypothesis.

    I do like their section:
    “Critics might furthermore argue that our analysis of the response to LOG12 was over-extensive, and that some of the hypotheses advanced by the blogosphere in fact constituted legitimate criticism.” – There’s a surprise eh!

    “This criticism is rendered less potent by the fact that our analysis was conducted at a psychological level,” Move along now – nothing to see here, and even if there is you won’t understand it.

    Then they do a bit of tarring the skeptic community as all being far right types. It’s a well established fact don’t you know!:

    “Our research also points to at least two issues that merit further investigation. The first issue arises from the well-established fact that the rejection of climate science is strongly associated with right-wing political leanings and the embrace of a “fundamentalist” laissez-faire vision of the free-market

    Still, there was an interesting bit about Skydragons tucked away in the middle…

  45. The claims of LOG12 amounted to stating that skeptical views were the result of people blinded by ideology and cranky beliefs. The implication is that they are utterly unable to see the truth of prospective catastrophic global warming and the policies necessary to prevent the catastrophes from happening. The implication is that the general public and media should be highly prejudiced against anything a skeptic has to say.
    All along this saga has demonstrated the opposite. The is no singular truth to be defended. The small minority of skeptics who support conspiracy theories is no larger than those who accept the consensus. Given the biases of the questionnaire, it might be the other way.
    The best reaction in any democracy is not tighter control, but pluralism. That is to promote alternative hypotheses and to encourage people to compare and contrast the differing points of view. A hypothesis with overwhelming evidence in its support would be bolstered by its ability to withstand attacks, or to show much greater support from real-world evidence than alternative hypotheses. It is the same as in a criminal trial. The general public will more strongly accept a guilty verdict if the accused has strong representation, who try to undermine the prosecutions case, than if the accused is denied any defense.

  46. arthur4563 says:
    March 20, 2013 at 7:38 pm
    After all is said and done, L & C’s silly nonsense is seen as an example of an ad hominem logical fallacy repackaged using psychobabble pretensions.
    you nailed it down arthur, more is not needed to say.

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