John Cook’s 97% consensus claim is about to go ‘pear-shaped’

Analysis of raters in Cook’s 97% paper by Shollenberger

pear shaped (slang)

A British expression used to indicate that something has gone horribly wrong with a person’s plans, most commonly in the phrase “It’s all gone pear shaped.”The OED cites its origin as within the Royal Air Force; as of 2003 the earliest citation there is a quote in the 1983 book Air War South Atlantic. Others date it to the RAF in the 1940s, from pilots attempting to perform aerial manoeuvres such as loops. These are difficult to form perfectly, and are usually noticeably distorted—i.e., pear-shaped.

Dr. Richard Tol writes about a new revelation coming from an analysis of Cook’s climate publications volunteer raters, conducted by Brandon Shollenberger:

My comment on Cook’s consensus paper has at last been accepted. It was rejected by three journals — twice by Environmental Research Letters and once by two other journals for being out of scope. Fifth time lucky.

As these things go, my comment is out of date before it is published.

One of my main concerns was the partial release of data. The data that was available suggests that all sorts of weird things were going on, but without the full data it was hard to pinpoint what went on. Cook’s resistance to release the data, abetted by the editor, the publisher and the University of Queensland, suggested that he may have something to hide.

Brandon Shollenberger has now found part of the missing data.

Unfortunately, time stamps are still missing. These would allow us to check whether fatigue may have affected the raters, and whether all raters were indeed human.

Rater IDs are available now. I hope Shollenberger will release the data in good time. For now, we have to do with his tests and graphs.

His comment of May 10, 1:16 am shows that individual raters systematically differed in their assessment of the literature. This is illustrated by this figure; the circles are aligned if the raters are the same.

This undermines Cook’s paper. Theirs was not a survey of the literature. Rather, it was a survey of the raters.

Source: http://richardtol.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/the-97-consensus.html

Of note is the comment “Brandon Shollenberger has now found part of the missing data.”. While I don’t know for sure, it seems that the SkS kidz have left another gaping security hole wide open which allowed Shollenberger (and likely anyone, as we’ve seen before with their forum fiascos) to have a look at that rater’s data. Cook has been resisting requests to provide it.

Shollenberger writes in comments at his blog:

I’ve sent John Cook an e-mail alerting him to what material I have, offering him an opportunity to give me reasons I should refrain from releasing it or particular parts of it. I figure a day or two to address any potential privacy concerns should be enough.

His response will determine how much information I provide. No obligations were placed upon me regarding any of the material I have, but I don’t see any compelling reason to provide information about how I got it either. I’d need a better reason than just satisfying people’s curiosity.

But we’ll see what (if anything) Cook says. I said I’d give him the weekend. If I don’t hear anything tonight, I’ll try contacting him via Twitter/Skeptical Science. I may try having someone else from SkS get his attention for me. I don’t want him to simply overlook the e-mail I sent.

By the way, there is some value in associating ids and names. We have comments from many of the people who participated in the study. It could be useful to try to match up biases in the ratings with people’s stated views.

Tick Tock.

 

 

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181 thoughts on “John Cook’s 97% consensus claim is about to go ‘pear-shaped’

  1. “Pear shaped’ comes from the silhouette of an advanced pregnancy. “Tits up” from the missionary position. Both mean that the subject of the expression is Fxxxed. Basic Anglo-Saxon is earthy, mundane and unimaginative. Emotionally cathartic though.

  2. That would be of USA, not British origin. It is either a vulgar version of “belly up” (most likely), known in the US and first captured in print in 1920, or a reference to WW2 (unlikely) aeroplanes and one of their dials, which when broken, turns upside down. The upside down lettering looks like breasts, and usually means enough damage to the cockpit that you had better bail if you still can.

  3. My applause and thanks to Brandon Schollenberger. This should be interesting.

  4. There was in Eastern Oregon a phone company called “Telephone Utilities”…
    Not going any further..

  5. My last name was spelled three different ways in this post. I don’t think that’s enough. We should see how many different ways we can spell it.

    REPLY: Apologies, fixed. – Anthony

  6. IMO “tits up” is of North American origin, derived as a more colorful alternative from “belly up”.

    Just how many Eastern Oregon commenters are there on this blog?

  7. More proof – were it even needed – that, basically, Warm-mongers are pretty thick.

  8. Branding Shoellenburger says:
    May 10, 2014 at 9:42 am. It’s the age of the correspondent. By the time he’s got to the next time he needs to use a polysyllabic name, short-term memory loss has crept up on him and the Data has been corrupted. Use the pseudonym “Albert” – we’ll all understand.

  9. Pamela Gray says:
    May 10, 2014 at 9:34 am

    If it doesn’t just refer to a dead fish in the water, I suspect an aviation-related origin of “belly up” may be a classic botched biplane landing where the wheels dig into the ground, the nose strikes the ground, and the tail swings overhead and strikes the ground, leaving the wheels and belly up.

  10. I don’t mean to start a pond war, but why do so many Americans think everything was started there? It reminds me of a conversation I heard a few years back. An American woman was talking to an English woman, and remarked on the Peter Rabbit books. “Do you have Beatrix Potter in England?” asked the American lady. The English woman just groaned.

  11. grumpyoldmanuk

    It’s the age of the correspondent. By the time he’s got to the next time he needs to use a polysyllabic name, short-term memory loss has crept up on him and the Data has been corrupted. Use the pseudonym “Albert” – we’ll all understand.

    For whom the bell Tols (sic), caution, I half resemble that remark

  12. At last something I know something about: English slang. Agreed as above, ‘Tits-up’ is a more colourful version of ‘belly-up’ meaning flat on your back fallen over. Vaguely related to ‘arse-over-tit’ as in upside-down or fallen over: and memorably bowdlerised by my deputy-head as ‘completely base-over-apex…’.

    As regards the etymology of ‘everything is going pear-shaped’ I somewhat disagree with the above comments. I think this refers to the propensity of the female figure to change from hour-glass shaped to pear-shaped as the years wear on. ‘Going pear-shaped’ means things are definitely starting to fall apart…

  13. The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:
    May 10, 2014 at 10:17 am

    In this case, because the phrase “tits up” did originate in the US or Canada, based upon lexicographical history. But if you have evidence for a British, Australian or other provenance, please trot it out.

    I’m acquainted with both American & British aviators & other military personnel & heard it on this side of the pond long before the eastern shore. That’s only anecdotal, but there is this:

    Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang

    TITS-UP adjective [1960s and still in use] (originally Canadian prison) dead, i.e. laid out on one’s back
    ___________________

    BELLY-UP adjective 1) [ 1970s and still in use] dead 2) failed, finished, especially bankrupt: usually prefaced by ‘go.’ [resembling a dead fish]

    In my own experience, “belly up” goes back at least to the 1950s. “Tits up” was already in use among American armed forces members during the Viet Nam era, so the Canadian prison slang origin is IMO conjectural.

  14. I would agree with Dr. Tol, and our host, that – as many here suspected – John Cook’s number resemble a crock of r*t s**t [no, not suet].
    I continue to be disappointed in the media – the BBC today is pushing
    “Scorching El Nino event could scupper England’s World Cup ”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27343057

    Absolutely nothing about England not having enough players who are good enough, unhappily – it might be a degree or three warmer when we play our matches than the long-term average.
    I guess that means weather . . . . .

    Auto

  15. Theirs was not a survey of the literature. Rather, it was a survey of the raters.

    And they found that they agreed with themselves. It doesn’t usually require a survey.

  16. Pamela Gray says:
    May 10, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Nope. Sorry, but that’s a different Milo. The alias comes from experience with fossils of Smilodon spp & Mylodon harlani.

  17. extract from John Roderigo Dos Passos’ Letters, 1920:
    “Labor’s belly up completely – The only hope is in the I.W.W.” [the Industrial Worker's of the World, a.k.a. The Wobblies]“

  18. In a world that gives Al Gore a Nobel Peace Prize and an Emmy for his movie “An Inconvenient Truth” and brainwashes the known law of photosynthesis out of people, while brainwashing in a theory on paper that has busted in the real world for 15 years……………..the 97% consensus of climate scientists paper fits right in.

  19. {all bold emphasis mine – JW}

    Shollenberger writes in comments at his blog:,

    His [Cook's] response will determine how much information I provide. No obligations were placed upon me regarding any of the material I have, but I don’t see any compelling reason to provide information about how I got it either. I’d need a better reason than just satisfying people’s curiosity

    – – – – – – – –

    Brandon Shollenberger,

    That turn of phrasing implies fairly reasonably that you got from a person(s) the “part of the missing data [from Cook’s consensus paper]“. It implies you didn’t just find the data.

    After you duly consider any potential harm to the raters by making their names and IDs public, I do think it would be valuable in assessing bias if the names and IDs of the raters in the data you have were made public.

    John

  20. I don’t mean to start a pond war, but why do so many Americans think everything was started there? It reminds me of a conversation I heard a few years back.

    It was all really inwented in Russia.

    An American woman was talking to an English woman, and remarked on the Peter Rabbit books. “Do you have Beatrix Potter in England?” asked the American lady. The English woman just groaned.

    Uhggh. Todd rocks!

  21. The 97% story just keeps going on and on and ….

    … and speaking of rabbits, Ghost @ 10:17 asks why so many Americans think everything started there.
    Many groups of people that become organized (a tribe?) and name themselves use a word or phrase that translates as “the people” and their beginning or origin story starts the history or timeline of what they know. For example, when Gouverneur Morris wrote the words “We the People … do ordain … the United States of America” – history began. It is that simple.

  22. My lovely wife, who is absolutely British, believes that the American penchant for claiming all things British as our own is quite endearing. She says that Americans have grown up with so much British culture, including ancestry in many cases, that our cultures have melded into one. I agree.

  23. First it was global warming, then it became climate change. Now it has been downgraded to climate disruption.
    I propose we adopt a new, more accurate name, “Climate Intransigence.” Because the climate steadfastly refuses to do what it’s been told to do.

    It just might catch on!

  24. The term ‘pear shaped’, from reading mythology from Frazer’s ‘Golden Bough’ and Joseph Campbell’s ‘The Hero’s Journey’ (monomyth), has meant to me the mature fertile female form in mythology. It is a wonderful symbol.

    When the term is applied to a male, it is pejorative.

    John

  25. Toes up- a corpse on an autopsy table with the little ID tag on the toe. Maybe tits up is the euphemism for that.

  26. When all of this comes out, I really hope that Dr. Tol has written it in a way understandable to an intelligent non-specialist. Thus far, when I followed the links all I could find were arcane puns that only a statistician might decipher. Very frustrating.

  27. Mike Bryant-
    I agree with you and your wife. My lovely wife has gone back through my family tree and found my ancestors lived in England in the 1500s. If I were to criticize the Brits it would be with a knowing look and a smile and a wink. But I guess they have their intra-mural disputes. While on a Scottish golf trip, I asked a young Scottish Lad how far we were from the English border. He quickly replied “Not far enough”

  28. I’ll go with milodon…as teens, we used tits up (as in belly up) in 1960s LA.

  29. Language, like the climate changes all the time. ‘It’s all gone Pete Tong’ amounts to the same as pear shaped, tits/belly up. (Cockney rhyming slang for wrong, using a radio 1 DJ’s name).

  30. @Steve Mosher
    That is indeed the accepted standard in journals that publish survey-based research (although some argue that you should save key strokes as well).

    Environmental Research Letters, however, does not usually publish this kind of work and the editor is bit out of his depth; as is the Institute of Physics, the publisher.

  31. talking of the Brits, I guess Monty Python would be making a sketch about Cookies stuff being ‘Pear reviewed’

    I guess you have to say that in an english accent

  32. Bran Don Scholl N’ Berger
    Brandyn Sheolanbergyr
    Brandan Showlenbirgir

    I done gradiated wif fonix! :) You’re a trooper Brandywine Shelfandbooger. That you live rent free in John Cook’s head is just a bonus. (And GrumpieOldeManook always, always makes my day!!! :)

  33. My last name was spelled three different ways in this post.
    I added a “c”; sorry.

  34. Pear shaped predates the 1980s in this Limey’s recall.

    Great work Brandon. I’ve given up rebutting the 97% consensus claim, as even when it is deconstructed for true believers, such is their belief, they still believe it. Whatever gets you through the night, I guess.

  35. With no intent to offend anyone —

    This Thread is a Hoot! I’ve never laughed so hard in all my life. Knowing some here have more brains in their little finger than I have in my whole….well….head – the humor (humour) expressed is refreshing and wonderful. THANKS TO ALL (raised voice not shouting!)

    Mike Bentley

  36. I would not be surprised if the origin of pear shaped as a reference to things going bad, dates back much further then the references given above. When a machinist is boring a hole (as in boring out a cannon), when things go wrong the bore takes on an egg or oval shape, as the boring bar gets in resonance with the changing load.The boring bit gouges deeply into the metal then unloads and briefly makes a lighter cut. I have no reference to that in literature but when working as a machinist I many times heard frustrated comments about items that were squeezed too hard and distorted or the boring bar started vibrating and distorted the bore. Sometimes you did not realize the hole bored was really oval or pear shaped until you took it out of the 4 jaw chuck of the lathe and released all pressure on it. It was a round and true bore while clamped in the chuck, but unknown to you had been clamped with much more force across two opposing jaws than the other pair of jaws. As soon as you released it from the machine your nice round bore would go pear or oval shaped.
    Likewise a carpenter boring a hole in wood will also end up creating a pear shaped or oval hole if the brace and bit is not held perpendicular to the work during each turn of the brace. I would look in old references from the mechanical trades for the earliest usage of the term if I was an etymologist.

  37. evanmjones says:
    May 10, 2014 at 11:16 am
    =================================================
    Did you know that (the glorious) Beatrix Potter received virtually no formal education?

    Samuel Whiskers (or The Roly Poly Pudding) remains in my all time top ten works of fiction. Having read it to all four of my children, I’m looking forward to reading it to my grandchildren. The eldest is three, so it won’t be long.

  38. Does anyone happen to have the e-mail address for authors of the Cook et al paper? I have John Cook’s, and I’ve sent him an e-mail.* I don’t know if he’s going to respond, but if he doesn’t, I’d like to try contacting the others as well. Specifically, I’d like to contact:

    Dana Nuccitelli
    Sarah A Green
    Mark Richardson
    Bärbel Winkler
    Rob Painting
    Robert Way
    Peter Jacobs
    Andrew Skuce

    *I’ve confirmed he’s aware of this issue so I have to assume he’s seen my e-mail as well. He’s in no rush to respond, if he’s going to respond at all.

  39. Gary Hladik says:
    May 10, 2014 at 12:08 pm
    Mike Maguire says (May 10, 2014 at 11:01 am): “In a world that gives Al Gore a Nobel Peace Prize and an Emmy for his movie…”
    =============================================
    And as Tom Lehrer noted,. irony died when Kissinger received the Nobel Peace Prize.

  40. Matthew R Marler, don’t worry about it. My name is misspelled so often it just makes me laugh. Years back I went to an airport to get my boarding pass, telling the lady behind the desk my name and giving her my ID. She said she was sorry, but they didn’t have any tickets under that name. She, of course, had added a “c” to my name when she typed it.

    I figure if people can look at my ID and still spell my name wrong, I might as well just accept it. I just think it’s funny this post spelled my name three different ways. I don’t see that very often (though this wasn’t the first time).

  41. My wife was babysitting a neighbors kids. They asked where she came from, she told them England. Then they commented that she spoke English well, and asked what language people spoke in England.

  42. grumpyoldmanuk says:
    May 10, 2014 at 9:24 am
    “Pear shaped’ comes from the silhouette of an advanced pregnancy. “Tits up” from the missionary position. Both mean that the subject of the expression is Fxxxed. Basic Anglo-Saxon is earthy, mundane and unimaginative. Emotionally cathartic though.
    ==============================================================
    Quite so. The river Kennet for example, refers to … well, I leave it to your imagination. I studied some Anglo Saxon at Oxford, and it is a glorious crackbone earthy beginning to our wonderful language.

    Checkout “The Seafarer”, which is about hard times asea, but also uses this as an analogy for the Christian life. It’s very fine. The Middle English of Chaucer, and Sir Gawayne and the Green Knight, is more readily comprehensible, and just as down to earth.

    http://www.anglo-saxons.net/hwaet/?do=get&type=text&id=Sfr

  43. jeremyp99, thanks, though you either misspelled Dana Nuccitelli’s name or the Guardian uses a really weird format :P

    I suppose I could try the e-mail addresses listed in the Skeptical Science forum. Some may still work.

  44. I hate to say it but I don’t think it matters how completely debunk Cook’s paper becomes, it will be used by people who would rather dismiss than make their case with skeptics.

  45. I wonder if Cook would be as thoughtful to give a few days grace on any exposures of questionable analyses of a sceptical nature.

  46. So can we all now agree John Cook’s 97% claim is now going at least 97% pear shaped, sideways, and tits-up, the paper is now FUBAR, and from the beginning it was a Charlie Foxtrot?

  47. To Grumpyoldman: I disagree. The term “tits up” refers to a floating dead human body. A male body will float face down in the water. A female will float face up because of the estra buoyancy of the breasts. Of course this is a little off the subject but unlike Cook, I wanted to correct the record..

  48. I hate to say it but I don’t think it matters how completely debunk Cook’s paper becomes, it will be used by people who would rather dismiss than make their case with skeptics.

    Maybe so, but facts are their own reward and falsehood must always be challenged, no matter what.

  49. The definition Guy says:
    May 10, 2014 at 11:29 am

    First it was global warming, then it became climate change. Now it has been downgraded to climate disruption.
    I propose we adopt a new, more accurate name, “Climate Intransigence.” Because the climate steadfastly refuses to do what it’s been told to do.

    It just might catch on!

    Best is “Irritable Climate Syndrome”

  50. The whole idea that such “studies”, as Cook’s on “consensus” papers, can be considered remotely scientific is mind boggling . That the media has just eaten it up and published it as fact, is even more troublesome. Anything that can be done to show it for the bs it is, has to be a worthwhile and welcome endeavor.

  51. My ancestors were all decidely anti-United Kingdom (I’m fine with them now). They almost all trace back to the Scotch Irish (Ulster Irish) area of Ireland, resulting in me being 3/4 Irish (the rest is German), qualified to be a Daughter of the American Revolution, great-grandaughter of an Oregon Homesteader Pioneer, and as Irish as I can be without the accent. I shoot straight, can cook anything, have eaten just about anything, and have been known to be stubborn. I also look decidely like a female leprachan. When we claim something, it is all or none. Tits up is Amercian.

    She said sweetly.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuatha_D%C3%A9_Danann

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danu_(Irish_goddess)

    http://www.ulsternation.org.uk/ulster's%20contribution%20to%20america.htm

  52. The way things have been for the last 17 or so years…

    It won’t be long until they have to change it to

    ‘Climate stagnation”

    This must be getting towards one of the longest periods for a while that it basically DONE NOTHING.

  53. from public record.

    Sarah Green sgreen@mtu.edu
    Andrew Skuce skucea@telus.net

    You have Mark Richardson’s from John’s post above. The rest are skeptical science bods or students so I’m not wasting an hour googling them. If you struggle to get Nuccitelli’s email i would be happy to call the Guardian to obtain it tomorrow. ( UK morning )

  54. jeremyp99 says:

    May 10, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Gary Hladik says:
    May 10, 2014 at 12:08 pm
    Mike Maguire says (May 10, 2014 at 11:01 am): “In a world that gives Al Gore a Nobel Peace Prize and an Emmy for his movie…”
    =============================================
    And as Tom Lehrer noted,. irony died when Kissinger received the Nobel Peace Prize.
    =================================================================

    Ole Tom conveniently omitted Le Duc Tho, the co-winner, but hey, Ole Tom is very selective with his leftist buddies. I go back a lot farther to Woodrow Wilson, one of our more vile presidents, and ahead to the triad of Arafat, Rabin, and Peres. But the all time winner has to be BHO, who got it for promising to stop the ocean’s rise, cool the planet—-oh, wait–. Luv’em or hate’em, the others DID something.

  55. This is not a secret, the raters have been known since before the paper was released. Ari Jokimaki rated the most papers.

  56. “Tits up” is something I remember hearing from the time I started to understand language 66 years ago – and on a ranch, it referred to dead animal because when they are totally bloated when you find them in the hinterland, cows tend to be “tits up” … at least until the coyotes get at them and release the gas. But I suppose all the other views are just as probable and because there are so many, the expression probably evolved from many places, some others of which I have heard but who knows.

    Have a great weekend, time to go do some welding on the tractor and move some hay now the snow has stopped. Lovely climate here in central Alberta. (Not kidding, I love it!)

  57. Philip Peake says:
    “My wife was babysitting a neighbors kids. They asked where she came from, she told them England. Then they commented that she spoke English well, and asked what language people spoke in England.”
    I’ve had a similar experience. Back in the pre- Crocodile Dundee 70s, as one of a group of visiting sailors in Hawaii, Americans found our accent quite entertaining, even more so when we, and they, were drunk. An initial comment would be “hey, you guys speak good English”. I wonder still if they hadn’t confused Australia with Austria… but then Austria lacks a navy.

  58. Pamela Gray @ May 10, 2014 at 9:34 am

    I’ve always been interested ion the origins of these phrases. Do you have references? I certainly agree it comes from aviation. The belly of an aircraft is it’s underside (where the wheels :-)


    That would be of USA, not British origin. It is either a vulgar version of “belly up” (most likely), known in the US and first captured in print in 1920, or a reference to WW2 (unlikely) aeroplanes and one of their dials, which when broken, turns upside down. The upside down lettering looks like breasts, and usually means enough damage to the cockpit that you had better bail if you still can.

  59. Declaration of Peace:

    We, the Anglophosphere, are united by a common set of political beliefs in liberty, justice and the rule of laws, not men. We can all agree on this.

    Now back to mocking each others’ accents :-)

  60. Thanks for the assistance in finding some of those e-mail addresses guys. I’ve received a response to my e-mail from John Cook, but I believe I am still going to attempt to contact the other authors.

    I don’t intend to disclose the contents of Cook’s response to me, but I will point out he did not make any request for material to be withheld, not even temporarily while matters could be discussed. I don’t think he understands how situations like this work.

  61. Brandon Shollenberger says:
    May 10, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I don’t think he understands how situations like this work.

    That appears to be a colossal understatement.

  62. Brandon Shollenberger (May 10, 2014 at 4:17 pm says of John Cook “I don’t think he understands how situations like this work“.

    What John Cook does understand only too well is that once he gets “97%” into the MSM (as he has done) then it is unassailable. No amount of analysis, paper retraction, court findings, etc, can ever remove it. As jeremyp99 (May 10, 2014 at 1:45 pm) says: “even when it is deconstructed for true believers, such is their belief, they still believe it“.

  63. Science does not advance via popularity contest. Did Einstein convene a science conference and say how does E=MC^2 sound, I am also thinking of E=MC^3 or how about E=MC.

  64. Brandon S.
    Note I neatly sidestepped attempting to spell your surname, may I correct your earlier question/statement to whit, “I would like to contact ***********”” Might I suggest that that statement, might be better expressed as “I need to try to contact *********”.

    I cannot imagine any rational sentient being actually “liking” to contact that list of people. More power to your arm sir, thank you.

    Wayne,
    Your snow just arrived here in the foothills outside Calgary at 18.00 hours MT, a veritable blizzard of climate disruption. Like you I remember the usage of both “T** Up” and “Belly Up” from my early years in the UK, my father was a pilot in the Feet Air Arm and I remember that phrase coming up when he was having a conversation with one of his old school friends, a Lancaster tail gunner, when I was about five in 1950.

    Pamela,
    Lets face it, the English are a mongrel race, the Irish were the Celts that could swim whereas the Welsh and Scots couldn’t, the Scots could run further that the Welsh. I’m a mongrel like the majority of the Anglo-sphere inhabitants.

  65. Mike Singleton says: “Lets face it, the English are a mongrel race, the Irish were the Celts that could swim whereas the Welsh and Scots couldn’t, the Scots could run further that the Welsh. I’m a mongrel like the majority of the Anglo-sphere inhabitants.”

    Few Europeans aren’t “mongrels” apart from perhaps Basques. While you don’t mention Anglo-Saxons directly, it’s mildly amusing for the English to be called thus when Saxon “blood” makes up only 5% of English DNA (rising to 15% in the east, where they came ashore) and that includes Angles and Jutes. Modern thinking has it that Britons were already speaking a Germanic language when the Saxons et al “invaded” which is why there are so very few Celtic words in English- the Celts had already been restricted to Scotland, Wales and Cornwall. As for the Scots, many were Irish immigrants!

  66. Not defending Cook, but Schollenberger’s analysis appears to assume that each researcher was assigned equivalent material, and that the differences in ratings are therefore a result of researcher bias rather than true variations in the material. But the material could have been assigned on e.g., a per-journal basis. This is just my quick take — I know Cook’s paper was rubbish.

  67. Mike Singleton:

    I cannot imagine any rational sentient being actually “liking” to contact that list of people. More power to your arm sir, thank you.

    I’m not sure why my arm would need more power, but I was actually happy to contact the ones I got e-mail addresses for. After reading John Cook’s response to my e-mail, anyone would seem appealing.

    NZ Willy:

    Not defending Cook, but Schollenberger’s analysis appears to assume that each researcher was assigned equivalent material, and that the differences in ratings are therefore a result of researcher bias rather than true variations in the material. But the material could have been assigned on e.g., a per-journal basis. This is just my quick take — I know Cook’s paper was rubbish.

    They’ve said the material was assigned randomly. I can’t imagine why they’d lie about that, and everything I’ve seen in the data supports it.

  68. Brandon,
    “More power to your arm” is an English colloquialism wishing well to anyone doing good work, you deserve it. I’m sure someone here will likely have a source for the expression. Being contacted by John Cook in any manner would leave me wanting to have a shower.

    Mike T,
    No, as you spotted I didn’t specifically mention Angles or Saxons, the movements of peoples around the world really is fascinating and the reality is sometimes different to the common lore. I forgot about the Cornwall Celts, guess they were the warm weather loving ones, can’t say I blame them.

    I know that my mitochondrial DNA, as reported to me by the Geno-graphic project, indicates my blood line moved from Africa through central Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean and Germany or the Nordic countries to the UK. My family tree shows family roots on the east coast of Yorkshire from the mid 1600’s, so I could be Saxon or Angle or, more romantically, “Viking” or ?. I do know that my arthritis is indicative of a Nordic background, darn it.

    If we all take our roots back far enough then “Lucy” is our source.

    • East Yorkshire is indicative of Viking blood, yes. But everyone came out of Africa, and most Europeans through the Middle East. Getting completely off-topic, my surname has hitherto been though to have been Norse (although my family came from the West Country) but further research is leaning me towards a Cornish origin.

  69. Global Warming consensus? Not so fast…

    Every time one of these AGW cultist posts some frothy mouthed, bug eyed reply to a reasonable doubt about the validity of AGW, they almost always cite the “97% of scientists agree” statement. Let’s just examine that claim shall we?

    What they are referring to is the University of Illinois survey in 2009 that found that 97.4% of agree that mankind is responsible for global warming. This is easily debunked when one considers its selection methodology. The University of Illinois study originally included 10,257 respondents. Of that group, the researchers (Peter Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman) concluded 10,180 “weren’t qualified to comment on the issue because they were merely solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists, astronomers and the like”. Of the remaining 77 scientists whose votes were counted, 75 agreed with the proposition that mankind was causing catastrophic changes in the climate. And, since 75 is 97.4% of 77, ‘overwhelming consensus’ was demonstrated. In reality, the 75 respondents that agreed with AGW is actually only 0.73% of the original sample group.

    Furthermore, in 2013 John Cook et al examined 11,944 articles from peer reviewed literature dated 1991-2011. They found that 66.4% (or 7931 of them) expressed no view whatsoever on AGW/ACC. Of the remaining 4013 articles, 97% (or 3893 of them) agreed with AGW/ACC. This again “demonstrates” a 97% consensus in their eyes. However, fundamental math would tell you the actual percentage of peer reviewed literature from this time frame endorsing AGW/ACC is actually only 32.6%. The actual numbers in both these surveys have been ignored by AGW/ACC proponents in favor of being able to cite the “97% Consensus” argument. I doubt that most AGW/ACC believers are even aware of these facts. The next time one of them uses this bogus statistic, please feel free to educate them”

  70. Mike Jonas says:
    Brandon Shollenberger (May 10, 2014 at 4:17 pm says of John Cook “I don’t think he understands how situations like this work“.

    What John Cook does understand only too well is that once he gets “97%” into the MSM (as he has done) then it is unassailable. No amount of analysis, paper retraction, court findings, etc, can ever remove it.

    Sadly this is exactly true. The same with Lewndowsky’s trash. The point is NOT to do robust science – it is to simply make it [barely] credible enough to get accepted by a journal – then rush it to the media.

    We cannot give up continuing to refute this bad science. Success builds on success – and nothing generates attention as well as scandal – especially when supported by legitimate supported claims..

  71. Mike that is interesting. They also found blood groups can also point to palaeoheritage. B group like one of my sons has, usually denotes they came from Nordic hunters, and O is the oldest blood group. I’m no expert, but white skinned people developed because they needed to absorb more Vit D from the sun. Interesting eh. That is why Nordic people today, tend to be paler than say Mediterranean or dark eyed haired people. Chinese and Japanese people have generally no wisdom teeth and shovel shaped incisors.

  72. Another Geologist’s Take says:
    May 10, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    “I’ll go with milodon…as teens, we used tits up (as in belly up) in 1960s LA.”

    Since I was a teen in the 1960’s in rural Ontario and used the same expression, I assume that it came out of WW2 and was common to US and Canadian forces if not the other allied forces.

  73. Gone pear shaped well it has several meanings, but belly up means dead or finished to me, pear shaped well the original was round. In other words, the original arrangment has been proven wrong.

  74. That’s neat! There are 97 comments on a 97% post.

    Oh. I’ve just spoiled it, haven’t i?

    Sorry.

  75. I think bushbunny has just indicated the correct derivation of “pear-shaped”. If an idea or concept is conceived as a perfect sphere – then when this idea or concept looses integrity, then the sphere balloons out at the bottom where gravity (synonymous with the overwhelming truth) pulls on the structure.

    As a Brit – I have never considered “pear-shaped” as a colloquial term for being pregnant – such terms would be “up-the duff”, “Bun in the oven” as well as others.

    At a wedding in Dorset some years ago in a farming community – I overheard one guy say to another “Is your wife pregnant again?”

    “Yep” was the reply

    “Arrrgh!” said the first guy – “I thought she was uddering up nicely”

    I thought this was one of the funniest things i had heard for a long time – but they did not find it funny at all – to them – this was normal conversation – which i found funnier still………….

  76. rogerknights says:
    May 10, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    “Best is “Irritable Climate Syndrome”

    Isn’t there something you can take for that?

  77. Pamela Gray says:
    May 10, 2014 at 3:04 pm
    “My ancestors were all decidely anti-United Kingdom (I’m fine with them now). They almost all trace back to the Scotch Irish (Ulster Irish) area of Ireland, resulting in me being 3/4 Irish (the rest is German), qualified to be a Daughter of the American Revolution, great-grandaughter of an Oregon Homesteader Pioneer, and as Irish as I can be without the accent. I shoot straight, can cook anything, have eaten just about anything, and have been known to be stubborn. I also look decidely like a female leprachan. When we claim something, it is all or none. Tits up is Amercian.

    She said sweetly.”

    Pamela, if you serve three potato side dishes with meat for dinner, say mashed, boiled and fried, then you’ll be welcome here in Cork City. Actually, you’d be welcome anyway. We’re that kind of people.
    Erin go braugh

    Is mise
    Patrick from Cork

  78. “””””…..Abel Garcia says:

    May 10, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Science does not advance via popularity contest. Did Einstein convene a science conference and say how does E=MC^2 sound, I am also thinking of E=MC^3 or how about E=MC……”””””

    Well actually I don’t think he would have said any one of those.

    Most likely he would say; E = m c^2 in German of course.

    He also said E = h (nu) and they must have liked that better, because that is the one he got a Nobel Prize in Physics for..

  79. Another piss-take out of the Americans (oh, I know they have a broad back):

    An American tourist in Windsor (overheard as an aircraft flew low overhead after taking off from Heathrow just a few miles away):
    “Jeez, why did they put the castle so close to a noisy, busy airport?”

    ['Broad back': A term used by the ENGLISH to indicate an ability to accept and withstand abuse or criticism, and to take it all in good humour]

  80. Mike Singleton:

    Brandon,
    “More power to your arm” is an English colloquialism wishing well to anyone doing good work, you deserve it. I’m sure someone here will likely have a source for the expression. Being contacted by John Cook in any manner would leave me wanting to have a shower.

    Ah, thanks! You’re kind of right about talking to him making you want a shower. I was tempted to publish his response as soon as I got it. The thing is terrible. Not only did he fail to assert any privacy concerns, he made bold statements which were demonstrably false.

    It was the sort of response which would make a lawyer shake his head. Either John Cook has no idea what he’s talking about, or he’s hoping I don’t.

  81. West Saxon & Old Norse are spoken in “Vikings”. Try speaking English without using Norman French loan words, or indeed without using words of Greek or Latin origin & the use of “weasel” words & of ambiguity (Latin ambiguus, from ambigere to be undecided, from ambi- + agere to drive — more at agent. First Known Use: 1528 …) are gone.

    I suspect that if we were to revert to the Ingvaeonic languages, we would again believe that disputes could be settled & indeed, leaders toppled, by hólmganga. “Ho there! Bring me my shield & my +ULFBERH+T. I seek to make an end to political (from Greek: πολιτικός politikos, meaning “of, for, or relating to citizens”) double speak”.

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

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

  82. Sour Apple (May 10, 2014 at 7:37 pm) – The “97%” Doran and Zimmerman paper is worse than that. Take a look at the questions – even confirmed sceptical regulars at WUWT could answer “Yes”.

  83. Patrick Ah our friend from County Cork, Eire. Did yer know I knew the nephew of one of your republicans, Harry Boland, his nephew came from a long line of goldsmiths in Cork city. And my grandmother came from Queenstown, now known as Cobh, and was married in the Cathedral there in the late 1800s to my Royal Navy grandfather. Cobh is where my cousins still live and one of my second cousins is in the Irish Navy. With internet it has become a small world. Anyway back to topic – how’s the weather there in Southern Ireland?

  84. Adding to Philip Peake and Mike T above:

    My daughter’s Mathematics teacher last year was a colorful older gentleman hailing from the UK. He had a habit for asking the teenage (American) kids, “What language do you speak–and don’t you DARE say English!”

  85. Perry you are dead right, our languages are a mix of various historical Lords. Norman, celt,Roman of course with Latin, still used legally too, and was spoken in RC masses for a long time. And of course some Indian words, adopted after the Raj occupation. Bungalow, assassin, and others I can’t remember, oh, Old Blighty. Not after the Irish potato blight, but a name for England.

    • Bushbunny, I think there’s a word from every language on the planet in English. Some have a tortuous route for transmission too, like adobe… possibly Ethiopian to Arabic to Spanish then to English as a loanword. This is what makes English the richest language on the planet, in terms of vocabulary, it’s so willing to borrow from others, unlike French which has an Academy to keep the language pure and unsullied.

  86. cold – Well our computers have American spell checks. The number of times colour instead of color or palaeoanthropology or sulphur is underlined in red, I usually keep it the way I was taught at school. And quite honestly I sometimes have trouble understanding American ‘Down South’ lingo on the movies. But as I say that, I sometimes can’t at first translate, some heavy Scottish accents. But – turned pear shaped is an RAF expression, and also a description of ladies who happen to be a bit over weight in their lower bodies. Or as Aussie would say ‘Stuffed up beyond belief’ or rather F… up beyond belief. There was an up market furnisher store named FUBBS. So rather than swearing in public, we’d say that is truly Fubbed.

    • Bushbunny, spellcheckers can be set up for UK or Australian English if so desired (at least in MS Word). Facebook and the like are annoying as their checkers are indeed, in US English

  87. This Ari Jokimaki: “I am not a professional climate scientist, but just an interested layman who has been getting familiar particularly to the observational side of the issue by reading the research papers on the subject.” A guy with a very low level degree in computer engineering in Finland?

  88. Yes I do add to the dictionary for some words, but it doesn’t worry me. Thanks Mike T.

  89. A. Scott says:
    May 10, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    [blockquote]
    We cannot give up continuing to refute this bad science. Success builds on success – and nothing generates attention as well as scandal – especially when supported by legitimate supported claims..
    [/blockquote]

    I agree totally, once the story has been told, it is hard to get rid rid of it. The target for ‘blame’ needs to be the journals, it is rebuttals, public analyses exposing inconsistencies that can stop further occurrences, and the journals need to review their reviewers – that is their job.

    It is a very good thing to get withdrawals as the authors becomes less credible in their field if they are known to have published shall we say, ‘questionable’ papers that do not meet the standards expected. But it is the journal that publishes the papers based on their reviewers’ recommendations.

    It has been said before and it is now time that the anonymity of reviewers is re-examined too.It would dispose of or expose cronyism. In climategate it became apparent that disgraceful actions in the review process were happening so that certain papers would get through and others would not. This is clearly still the case and shows that the entire scientific method in many fields has been compromised.

    But lets learn and push for greater openness is science, the days of a paper getting publishing approval by a secret band of winking and nodding reviewers is not 21st century and needs to be ended.

    As for the Cook paper, here we have peer reviewed papers that are subjected to some sort of further review to categorise them into yes/no/maybe groups by people that did not necessarily have qualifications to do so, and that got published ?

  90. Mike T: Ah, one of my favourite hates! I had to fill in a form for an English company online the other day – and they obviously think using US software is ok. It underlined ‘licence’, ‘centre’, etc. Infuriating.

  91. Before I depart, I thought I would add the joke. ” A young boy was overhearing his dad and friend talking about the global financial slump and money was disappearing. He asked innocently, ‘Well if the world has no money, where did it all go” Yeah a good question.

  92. I believe English is one of the hardest languages to learn. Accept Latin. Must go Mike, have a good night or day, whatever your time zones. Au revoir, see you all tomorrow in spirit at least.

  93. When talking of modern English, we have politicans to thank for that. The last known remaining “dialect” of “old English” is that spoken by Scottish Islanders and in Glasgow. But this animation may help in understanding the changes across borders in “Europe” over the last 1000 years or so. I cannot confirm it’s accuracy but seems plausible.

    • Old English (Anglo-Saxon) was never spoken in Glasgow or the Scottish Islands. As others have suggested, Gaelic would have been the language of most of Scotland apart from the Northern Isles which would have spoken Norse as they were part of the Kingdom of Norway.

  94. Patrick says:
    May 11, 2014 at 2:10 am

    When talking of modern English, we have politicans (sic) to thank for that.

    Also newsreaders who can’t pronounce the letter ‘t'; where it comes out a ‘d’.

  95. What astounds me is that John Cook’s survey methodology was flawed from the beginning and that if anyone bothered to ask or contract a reputable social research company to provide an analysis of the report’s methodology it would be demolished, caput and rendered useless within a few succinct points. You do not even have to bother with the results, the participants or the interpretation. His research methodology was so laughable. It is an embarrassment to people in the business of doing social research. Ps, I would be happy to contribute for the costs of a reputable independent social analysis company to pull his propaganda feeding survey to bits and publish the results on line. You have my email. Please contact me.

  96. The irony is what Cooks consider this ‘papers’ strength is it weakness and a dead give away it was BS. The infamous 97 % before this study had all the quality of ‘nine out of ten cats prefer’ so that he exactly matched it showed that there was simply no intention to find out any real facts , merely a intention to blinding support this part of the dogma of ‘the cause’
    Based on BS before it was ever done , its hardly a surprise to find the result was BS too.

    One of things that marks of AGW has being more religion than science is that it feels the need to support the scientifical indefensible , has with the stick. Normal science accepts that old ideas can be fairly challenged, found wrong and so changed, its the hard core religions which regard its claims to be unquestionable truth for all time no matter what the reality.

  97. @knr

    This has something I’ve also found baffling and amusing in equal measure. “97%” is trotted out in several contexts, as if they are independently iterating through and refining various experiments to find a more accurate value of PI or the mass of the electron, or the speed of light. Ridiculous on it’s face.

  98. Hah! that’s gas. Even Brendan is spelling his own name wrong now.;)

    Good morning to my fellow Irish brothers and sisters who tune in to this wonderful site. Of course we know that the best spoken English in the world, is that spoken by the Irish.

    To those of you about to ”hit the hay”, Codladh sadbh diobh.

    Eamon.

  99. “Eamon Butler says:

    May 11, 2014 at 3:16 am”

    No. That is Galic. You could say “Scottish”.

  100. “Eamon Butler says:

    May 11, 2014 at 3:16 am”

    OT but, wiskey! And rightly so…all others are copies!

  101. When I was a schoolboy in the 50s RAF flyers of my acquaintance used the Initials TBU which
    stood for ‘Total Balls Up’ usually caused by ‘Ministry Experts!!

  102. mem, I wouldn’t know anything about companies that might analyze something like this. If there are companies that’d do what you suggest, I wouldn’t know anything about how to get one involved.

    Eamon Butler, did I spell my name wrong somewhere?

    Everyone else, the blogger Anders wrote a post which sought to rebut the argument I raised about rater bias (read my response). Initially he argued the bias I showed only existed in the pre-reconciliation stage, even though I had explicitly stated I was displaying the data from the post-reconciliation stage (and the scales on the two data sets are different so they’re impossible to mix up).

    He’s since moved on from that made up claim. He now says:

    So, maybe it’s not strictly the initial ratings, but some intermediate stage. I don’t see how that changes anything, given that the quote from the paper that I include in the post also includes that there was still disagreement between raters after they were given an opportunity to reconcile their ratings.

    Leaving aside the humor of him suggesting it doesn’t matter he had no idea what I was showing when he claimed to rebut it (and consequently had to walk his argument back), I find this quote amazing. He claims the image I show because we knew raters disagreed with one another. This completely ignores the point of the image I showed. That image didn’t just show raters disagreed. It showed they disagreed in systematic ways that’d bias results.

    I don’t understand how someone could simply make things up in order to criticize a person, feel no shame when they find out they were wrong, then claim their mistake doesn’t matter by ignoring the entire point of what they’re responding to. It’s dumbfounding.

  103. Talking of RAF pilots, in 1972, at Biggin Hill Areodrome (Called an “airport” now – UK), an RAF Vulcan took off, busted my ears (My already busted ears), flew past, and then landed. The pilot was someone called “Leslie”.

  104. One thing that is becoming clear is that Mr. Cook’s claims about being an excellent internet professional is dubious at best.

  105. When I was a Medic in the U.S. Army I read that when mortally wounded people lie on their back (belly up/tits up) wheras when people are wounded in a non mortal way they lie on their belly.

  106. Poptech on May 10, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    This is not a secret, the raters have been known since before the paper was released. Ari Jokimaki rated the most papers.

    – – – – – – – – –

    Poptech,

    If you think the rater’s names have been for some time in the public domain, then why can’t you just post a web link to where the raters names and IDs were previously published?

    John

  107. I think the greatest weakness of the Cook paper is that it is being used to promote a premise for which the survey questions were not designed: ie that 97% of scientists believe in global warming. 1) they didn’t quantify authors, but they did quantify published papers, and more importantly 2) the rating questions (or statements) were not designed to distinguish between CAGW and plain old “CO2 warms the planet.” Yet the statistic is used BY THEM to promote the idea that 97% of scientists believe in CAGW. I unfortunately debated this with the SkS true believers last summer on their site shortly after the consensus paper was published, and they were forced to concede that I was correct, ie that their marketing claims exceeded their study design. Lots of snipping of valid arguments, and probably all deleted from their site now. DO NOT attempt to make a distinction between AGW and CAGW with this crowd or you will be branded a “Denier” a “Troll” and many other nasty names. They are not nice people and really not reasonable. After that experience I have been enjoying good solid information at this site.

  108. Shub Niggurath says:
    May 11, 2014 at 8:22 am

    John, the raters’ identities were available. I’m not sure data linking volunteers to their ratings was available.

    – – – – – – – –

    Shub Niggurath,

    Thanks for pointing out the possibility.

    John

  109. Brandon Shollenberger :
    Sorry Brandon, I was being very naughty. I deliberately wrote ”Brendan” like the Irish Saint, who discovered America.

    Can’t wait to read what you have to say about the notorious 97%. The more nails driven into this coffin the better, I say.

    Btw, my spell checker tells me I’m spelling MY name wrong. It prefers the double N at the end.

    Kind regards,

    Eamonnn.

  110. Poptech’s comments:

    Cook’s paper should of just been call “Ari Jokimaki rates abstracts”.

    This is not a secret, the raters have been known since before the paper was released. Ari Jokimaki rated the most papers.

    Are interesting because while a lot of people thought Ari Jokimaki did the most ratings, he actually didn’t.

  111. Lucia had a chart on her site (rankexploits.com) last year that had a chart that showed the list of names and the number of papers they read over time. It was on May 14, 2013. If you Google tcp_raters.gif and look at the images in Google you will see the chart.

  112. “So, do you English folks have Harry Potter?”

    The Author lives 1 mile from me, so I suppose we do. We also get to watch her ruin a nice house…

  113. P.S. The Harry Potter Author lives in Edinburgh, or as it is said here “Embra”. I’m English, here on missionary work to civilise the Scots. It is obviously taking longer than Africa and India due to the natives.

  114. I understand that the full analysis hasn’t been released and is still being compiled as information – hopefully – becomes more available, but can someone explain the circle chart in a way that a layman can comprehend? I consider myself a fairly intelligent non-scientific mind, but the chart could look like just about anything to me right now.

  115. Bushbunny, the weather keeps changing, go figure. Not too much of the wet stuff this weekend. I know Cobh well, I have some friends who work in The Roaring Donkey (a pub) i’m in Cork City centre. If you make it here some day check out Sin é, they have trad music sessions almost every night. You’ll want to slam some jorums and then switch to meejums or the Langers will gawk like a ripe shower of pizawns. Remember, no knawvshawling on the premises. Follow those rules and you’ll be in dutch. Tell the bar staff that I sent you and you may well receive an immediate, forceful ejection. I’m mockeyah, you’ll be welcome.

  116. Morph, do you speak Glaswegian? Even with my advanced degrees in Gibberish and Cork Slang*, I just can’t grasp their language. The locals who speak English like to joke with the tourists and tell them that everyone is speaking English.

    *yes, it is redundant

  117. Cold in Wisconsin: “I think the greatest weakness of the Cook paper is that it is being used to promote a premise for which the survey questions were not designed: ie that 97% of scientists believe in global warming.”

    Although I don’t quite agree with that statement of the paper’s main defect, I do agree that a principal problem is that the survey questions were singularly ill-suited to distinguishing those who believe that humans have some effect on climate and those who think that it is humans who caused more than 50% of the recent warming. And on that question is not clear to me that Mr. Shollenberger’s showing of bias makes a large difference one way or the other.

    Moreover, even if the survey had been well-designed to measure the positions that the published papers reflect, it still would likely have found that, among papers that take a position on how much warming man has caused, a clear majority toe the “most of it” line. Writing papers is principally province of academics, and one obtains tenure by exhibiting the ability to attract enough grants to support one’s lab and post-docs–whereas being a “denier” is how not to get grants.

    For that reason, even a study well designed to measure papers’ contents would be misleading. But it would be misleading for an even more-important reason. Specifically, a lepidopterist or other practitioner of one of the “stamp collecting” sciences is unlikely to be positioned any better than–or even as well as–the next, say, civil engineer at the bar to make an informed judgment on what has caused warming. So even if such scientists–and that’s no doubt most of them–truly believe the theory and not just piously recite the appropriate global-warming catechism verse in order to attract funding, it would be more a measure of how good the CAGW evangelism (or kakangelism if there be such a word) has been rather than of how compelling the science is.

    Anyway, I suppose that’s a long-winded way of saying that, although I respect the many here who see the importance of Mr. Shollenberger’s inquiry, at least one of us out here doesn’t get it.

  118. Joe Born, the point of raising this issue isn’t to establish the paper’s conclusions are wrong. It’s to get people to start thinking about what the paper actually shows. Once you accept bias affected the raters’ results, it’s easier to accept the raters rated papers as “Endorse AGW” for the flimsiest of reasons.

    If you want something more substantial, give it a little time. I already have a post written in which I highlight how meaningless the “consensus” the paper found actually is.

  119. If you think the rater’s names have been for some time in the public domain, then why can’t you just post a web link to where the raters names and IDs were previously published?

    John

    John, besides other known information prior to the paper being released, the top raters were listed in the paper as authors and in the acknowledgements;

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article

    Authors
    John Cook, Dana Nuccitelli, Sarah A Green, Mark Richardson, Bärbel Winkler, Rob Painting, Robert Way, Peter Jacobs and Andrew Skuce.

    Acknowledgments
    Thanks to James Powell for his invaluable contribution to this analysis, Stephan Lewandowsky for his comments and to those who assisted with collecting email addresses and rating abstracts: Ari Jokimäki, Riccardo Reitano, Rob Honeycutt, Wendy Cook, Phil Scadden, Glenn Tamblyn, Anne-Marie Blackburn, John Hartz, Steve Brown, George Morrison, Alexander C Coulter, Martin B Stolpe (to name just those who are not listed as (co-)author to this paper).

    The top raters were:
    3000+ Papers Rated:
    – Ari Jokimäki

    2000+ Papers Rated
    – Sarah A Green (2500+)
    – Andrew Skuce
    – Riccardo Reitano

    1000+ Papers Rated
    – Peter Jacobs (logicman at SkS)
    – Mark Richardson
    – Rob Honeycutt
    – John Cook
    – Dana Nuccitelli

    500+ Papers Rated
    – Bernard Walsh
    – Rob Painting

    Sarah might have eventually rated more than Ari since they had to rate the papers twice but it is still all a big Yawn and not news. Acting like this information has to be withheld is ridiculous.

  120. Since the authors of the belatedly rejected paper which names names of people with alleged psychiatric problems did not hesitate to name names, Schollunburger (sic) should not hesitate to name names, and spell them correctly. Those people who aim to justify “97%” are crazy.

    (I am originally from Central Oregon, not Eastern Oregon, but I have relatives there.)

  121. That border map went along very quickly, but when the French ruled England it wasn’t noted.
    That was the Plantagenets. Henry the II and Richard the lst were basically French. King Stephen and Matilda had a real civil war. She lost (being a woman in a warrior king being preferred, didn’t help) Patrick have you ever heard of ‘strine’ very funny. When I arrived in Sydney, 1965, some Aussies were a bit hard to understand, and I had to have an interpretater. Not just words, but expressions such as ‘Bit lacking in the top paddock’ (dumb) Adams ale (water) So low he could crawl under a rattlesnake. (awful person).etc., etc. Should I throw me hat in before I enter? (will I be welcomed). I love the Aussie venacular I put a glossary in the back of my book for ‘foreigners’ to understand.

    • BB, the map was wrong in some respects, as it showed invasions and not changes in borders. So Germany in WWII borders shouldn’t have changed apart from the places they formally annexed (Sudatenland, Austria etc). They didn’t annex Alsace-Lorraine despite several wars having been fought over the region, and the local dialect was, and is, Germanic, not French. It was interesting to see all the little places that made up the Holy Roman Empire before German unification in 19th century although the details were very hard to see.

  122. Don, I posted a list of the top raters above. That is not the final numbers so the order may have changed but it is close enough. The only one I am not that confident on is Bernard Walsh since his name was not mentioned in the acknowledgements but that could have been at his request or it was a pseudonym.

  123. Talking about language, if anything the English language has also adopted a lot of American
    One of the things that I still get confused by is the use of initials. Even on this blog. In essays at our University, if we were to refer to the full name or title, such as Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)
    We had to print the full name and put in brackets afterwards (later referred to as BOM) I know some journalist noted this and wrote a piece using all initials in the text, it was hilarious. Anyway, it’s fun eh?

    • BB, that’s normal for university essays even today, refer to the org. in full with acronym in parentheses after it then any further reference to the org. can be as the acronym.

  124. Yes, but if you don’t know what the organisation is then we do have problems. Oh, I only got my BA and GCA in 2005 and 2013. LOL. Just in case you thought it was in the last century, LOL

    • @Pethefin one look at some of the smear websites he lists on his blogroll tells you just about everything you need to know about the sorts of bias that went into his ratings

  125. I haven’t followed the details on Cook’s paper. I strongly applaud those who work on this, it’s just that I cannot devote the time currently and have to restrict what I look at in blogworld.

    That said, the following comment strikes me as pointing to an important issue, don’t know if it has been followed up much or not. Brandon linked above to this comment of his — if one of the leading SkS types (Tom Curtis) dropped out of the rating process because he did not like having to rate so many abstracts “neutral” then what might that suggest about the attitudes and biases of the SkS crowd doing these ratings?? How many did not have Tom Curtis scruples about needing to be objective in rating papers “neutral” etc.?? (apologies if this has already been thrashed out somewhere):

    [Brandon]:

    “Heck, one participant (Tom Curtis) quit because he couldn’t stomach how many papers he had to rate neutrally, and yet, he must be one of the 24 “independent” raters.”

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/u-of-queensland-application-for-ethical-clearance/#comment-112937

  126. Sad to see Robert Way’s name on the list of co-authors.

    I’d hoped on the basis of some of his candid, critical comments in the secret SkS treehut files that he was the only one there with a brain and some hints of intellectual integrity.

    It seems not….

  127. Anthony Watts says:
    May 11, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    The fact that Jokimäki uses the childish SkS-inspired “debunking”-meme is all we need to know about his understanding of science and his motives.

  128. @Mike Bryant

    Then there’s folks like me. Mum was from England so I drink tea in the morning and sometimes type colour and behaviour and… as she was my first teacher. Also raised me with a few book she brought from England. Dad was an American Mix, but 1/2 of first generation Irish American, so some of that slang was around the house. As he had spend some key years of his youth in England (WWII army) there was ample opportunity for language mixing both ways.

    At about 8 years old I met my first Texan (he came into the family restaurant in California). Took me nearly a day and a half to ‘latch on’ to what he was saying. British English was nearly natural for me, but Texan! Like Australian, full of “colourful sayings”…

    @all:

    The present day folks in Scotland are a mix of a couple of origins. One large group came from Ireland (who in turn came from the Celtic part of Spain, so all you Irish are really Hispanic ;-) while there was an indigenous group already there. There’s reasonable evidence for a Scotts dialect of an English like language pre-dating the arrival of either Gaelic or actual English. So southern Scotts may be closer to the really old forms of English than even some English… That, as pointed out, has been through the ringers of French, Roman, etc. etc.

    Oh, and on the genetic thread:

    There are lots of decent maps of haplogroup and Y or X chromosome migrations. Anyone who thinks that there is a “pure” type anywhere in Europe, the Americas, Asia, etc. is sorely mistaken. It’s more like stew with some bits you can point at and claim a bit of what they might be… Yet you can still see the pattern of migration in the genetic smears. Celts, for example, were in places like Turkey and even down into Egypt (as a mercenary army to the Pharaoh) way back. North Italy was Celt, as was Austria and parts of Bavaria, through Gaul and on. Generally moving west all the time. Eventually crossing into Ireland (and from there to N. America / Australia ….)

    Folks forget that the Germans wandered down south. Spain even. Oh, and that France is named for the Germanic tribe that had the throwing ax used to drive out invaders – the Franks.

    So everywhere is a stew. Yet with traces of the past. (And don’t even get me started on the Swedes and Goths… starting down near Bulgaria / Thrace, going up north, then down through Spain to North Africa… and with some part out toward the steppes of Asia… though it’s a bit messy sorting Swedes from the various Goths from some other groups that went other places…)

    Oh, and honorable mention to the Phoenicians / Carthaginians who went throughout the Mediterranean and up the Atlantic coast to the edge of Germany (and who seem to have left traces of their language in the Germanic languages including English). So even some Semitic component blended in. Yes, even in Germans. (BTW, the lore of Irish origin traces back to a Scythian prince, so perhaps north of Turkey back when it was Celt).

    Eventually it looks like most Europeans originated from The Levant or just north of it, as the ice melted. About 12,000 years ago, they spread out. (There were some folks already in Southern Europe then. They have a Basque like genetic type and survive in pockets, mostly in Basque lands – though some of them are in North America now…)

    Tying it to Climate: The Migration Era Pessimum was a very cold period about the same as The Dark Ages that had a LOT of folks from more north and east running south and west to escape the bitter cold. There is a periodic warm and good time about every 1500 years (though with smaller nodes at 1/2 and 1/4 that) followed by a terrible cold – and migrations. What is not clear is: Was The Little Ice Age the very cold 1500 year event, or the 1/2 or 1/4 cycle event? If it was the full cycle, then we are good for ‘a while’, but if it was a partial, and the full is 1500 years after 535 AD onset of The Dark Ages…. 2035 might not be a very good year… (Also, it is sometimes called a 1470 year cycle, that would put the start of the downturn at 2005 … or about when the warming went away…)

    The more things change, the more they stay the same…

    As per “pear shaped” and “Tummy Up”… I heard variations on the latter in the ’50s, and that was from old folks so likey much older. Then there is “4 paws to the moon”… Likey all sorts of references to dead things on their back and bloating from thousands of years back, if you look hard enough. Just “in print” more recently…

  129. poptech says:
    May 11, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    – – – – – – – – –

    poptech,

    Thanks for your reply. Appreciate the background on where raters names where previously published and relative approximate number of papers they rated.

    Are you aware of a list of the specific papers each rater rated?

    John

  130. Those of you pontificating upon the sources of various terms should accept that most of them originated in England, France or Germany. Those of you of Spanish/Portuguese/African/Chinese/Japanese … origin will have your own.

    The (for example) ‘two fingered salute’ (not used so much in The US but probably familiar) came from the French army order (c.1400) that any captured English longbow man should have his two ‘pulling fingers’ cut off. Hence the English gesture utilising two fingers. We still use it today (in England) as a gesture of defiance. Back in 1400 it was a sign to the opposing (French) army that they still hadn’t got your (English) fingers.

  131. Pamela Gray says:
    May 10, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Don B says:
    May 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    My family is (or are, in British English) from all over Oregon, but I was born & raised in Eastern Oregon. Brother lives in Central Oregon. Descended from Oregon Trail immigrants of 1847 & 1852. The latter took up Donation Land Claim in Yamhill County (site of Linfield College) but moved to Eastern Oregon c. 1860, then SE Washington Territory to avoid hay fever. Grandad’s company built the Turn-Around at Seaside, Wolf Creek Highway (26 to the Coast), Santiam Pass Highway (22 to Sisters, et seq), various bridges & Crown Point Observatory in the Gorge.

    Great-grandfathers let sheep eat down the native bunchgrass of the Columbia Plateau so that they could plant wheat. Pendleton was once the world’s leading wool railhead, hence the name of the clothing company now HQed in Portland, which in turn helped give rise to Columbia Sportswear, Nike, et al. One GGF became a Progressive Republican senator advocating initiative, referendum & recall (the Oregon System), votes for women & good roads. Also direct election of US senators, which IMO was not such a good idea, with benefit of hindsight.

    Typical American mongrel: Amerindian, 17th century English, 18th century German, Scots-Irish & West African, 19th century Scottish & Swiss.

    Oregon climatic data, unadjusted, show that it was warmer here in the 1890s & 1930s than during 1977-2006 or now.

    As for American & British English, IMO there is now borrowing both ways. When I said “guy” at Oxford in the early ’70s, it was considered outlandish, but now I hear “chap” & “bloke” in Merrie Olde less than “guy”. Seems that “wimpy” has also been taken up by some Britons. OTOH, Americans are using “bits” more & more in lieu of “pieces” & appear to have adopted “cheeky”. Still not so much “maths”, however.

    A junior common room guy in my college had never heard the word “innovative”, however. Nor did a middle common room buddy know that the British had burned down Washington, DC in 1814, shortly before their attack on Baltimore, which inspired the Star Spangled Banner, set to the tune of an English drinking song.

    Mike T says:
    May 10, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    IMO the latest thinking is that the indigenous population of Sub-Roman Britain still mainly spoke Brythonic languages akin to Welsh, Cornish & Breton (brought to Brittany by British refugees). Latin of course continued in clerical use. Anglo-Saxon invaders (originally invited in to help ward off Pictish & Irish raiders, if Bede be believed) brought their Germanic language with them, although there probably were some Saxons & Jutes resident before the main Volk wandering & settling. A distantly related Celtic language (Goidelic, not Brythonic) was spoken in Ireland.

    The Picts of Caledonia (Highland Scotland) apparently also spoke a Brythonic language, but Irish invaders (Scots) brought Gaelic with them to the west & Islands, as the Northumbrian Angles carried their brand of Old English to the east Lowlands. Later, the Norse colonized the northern Highlands & Islands, colliding with both the Picts & spreading Gaels. Meanwhile, the Strathclyde Britons held out for a while, speaking a British dialect related to that of Cumberland & Wales, hence Clan Wallace.

    The west of England also long remained British-speaking, from Cumberland, through Wales to Cornwall. This was more than a Celtic fringe, but fairly continuous. Then Norwegians invaded Cumbria from their base in Dublin, as did of course the Danes had done the east of England, settling in the Danelaw. If not for Alfred & Athelstan’s victories over the Norse (with Welsh support), English might resemble Icelandic.

    DNA can’t distinguish between Anglo-Saxon & Norse pedigrees, so the Great Heathen Army & other Viking invasions aren’t detectable genetically. But Old Norse (both Norwegian & Danish dialects) did leave a strong linguistic imprint on English, especially in Scotland & northern & eastern England.

    Some scholars also find traces of British in both the vocabulary & grammar of English.

    • Milodonharlani, yes, I was aware of the false origin of the V-salute, and the “blood-groove” (it’s actually to break suction, I believe, for removal). You sound like a “senior language historian”… I’m merely a “junior historian” studying for fun in my dotage. I suppose the question may never be answered fully, but I do find it odd that a relative handful of “Saxons” could totally supplant Celtic. There should be more than mere “traces” of British language in Anglo-Saxon is this small number of invaders/ settlers came amongst much larger numbers of people speaking a quite different language. I recall reading recently of a Roman general, at the time of the invasion of Britain, saying that the Belgae of Gaul spoke a Germanic tongue, and that the Britons spoke a similar language. Having said that, the quite small number of Vikings did have a huge effect on Anglo-Saxon language (the more so perhaps, because their languages were so similar). Apparently, Mandarin came about because the Mongols couldn’t cope with the 8 or 9 tones in say, Cantonese, and it ended being simplified to four tones.

      As for Icelandic, it’s a great pity that English lost some very useful letters (like thorn and eth) thanks to the Normans, and the printing press. The “Ye” in “Ye Olde Inne” is not, of course, a “Y” and shouldn’t be pronounced as one.

      You’re quite right about Viking and Saxon DNA, I believe Viking ancestry is deduced from parish records and names.

  132. Wayne Delbeke says: “Tits up” is something I remember hearing from the time I started to understand language 66 years ago – and on a ranch, it referred to dead animal because when they are totally bloated when you find them in the hinterland, cows tend to be “tits up” ….

    It’s my understanding that the expression is of agricultural origins, just as you state.

  133. I think the English pointing the finger at the American penchant for claiming all things British as their own is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. The English penchant for claiming anything they like out of Ireland as British never ceases to entertain us. The amusing story often told by the IRISH (no question about it!) actor Richard Harris is a good case in point: having won an award at Cannes and travelling back through London he spotted an Evening Standard billboard which read ‘British Actor wins award’. Travelling onwards to Dublin to continue the celebrations, drink intervened and he ended up in a brawl. An Evening Standard headline greeted him on his return to London: ‘Irish actor gets arrested in drunken brawl’!

    This penchant is not a thing of the past. Only a few weeks ago the Daily Telegraph newspaper ran a story on the ’20 best British novels of all time’ including in the long list such well-known ‘British’ writers such as James Joyce, John Banville and Flann O’Brien. Even this last bastion of British imperialism seems to have accepted, finally (sigh-groan), that Ireland is a separate country (nearly 100 years after the fact!) when their readership pointed this out to them they changed the title to read the ’20 best British & Irish novels of all time’.

    To the English contributors here giving out about the American unilateral adoption tendency, please, please, people in glasshouses shouldn’t be throwing stones………..

  134. LOL well Irish were termed British like Aussies and as South African non Afrakaans were once. But I agree I am not complaining about Americanese dialects or countries venacular, just initialising certain organisations or the tendency to do this. But I see your point. Well poor man Richard Harris had to give up the grog in his later years. Look Peter O’Toole was Irish born too, and they all loved their Scotch or Irish Whisky. But their colorful personalities like Oliver Reed were really a part of them, and most of us enjoyed their high jinks, so long as it didn’t harm anyone. At least they didn’t mind being labelled piss pots. . I remember one film that I thought was hilarious, was ‘The Best Year of my life’. Peter O’Toole played a drunken star of old Holywood fame, who had never been recorded live on TV. And it was recorded that he was drunk during filming.

  135. Mike T says:
    May 12, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    I’m not senior to you in linguistic history, but have little Old English & Greek, less Latin, & almost no Welsh. However, IIRC from Caesar, the Belgae were said to have originated from across the Rhein, so may well have originally spoken a Germanic language. The best evidence though is that by Caesar’s time at least those in Gaul spoke a Celtic language.

    Some Belgae had crossed the Channel & settled in what is now southern England, to include the well-known Iceni of East Anglia. But again, by Caesar’s time, they no longer spoke a Goidelic language, but a form of Brythonic, ie related to Welsh rather than Gaulish, whatever their ethnic origin. Their famous 1st Century AD queen Boudica is known in Welsh as Buddug.

    The exact number of Frisians, Angles, Saxons & Jutes immigrating to Britain is unknown, but IMO enough to have caused an exodus of Britons to Brittany. It’s common in history for the language of successful invaders to displace that of the conquered or shoved aside. It seems in the case of eastern & southern Britain to have occurred both by displacing the indigenous population & via assimilation.

    The Wiki entry on the subject seems to cite valid sources, including on estimating number of immigrants:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Saxon_settlement_of_Britain#Estimating_continental_migrants.27_numbers

    Don’t know how historical is the claim that all the Angles upped & moved en masse from the Baltic & North Sea shores of Schleswig-Holstein to eastern Britain, but seems plausible. Climate change in the 5th century might well have played a role.

  136. I can only contest that Roman occupation of England, Wales, and not Scotland, a lot of the soldiers (ranks) were from many parts of the Roman Empire. There was an agreement that occupied territories and farms were allowed to go on unheeded, provided they gave one son to the Roman military. Just a thought, if you have some hairy, armed Roman soldier in you province, one would be learning Latin quickly? The Romans didn’t occupy parts of Europe and Asia minor from being nice to people. “You be nice to us, and we will be nice to you or you die!” When these volunteers (?) served their 15 years conscription they were returned. That’s if you lived that long.

  137. In the 5th Century AD, the Romans had already departed Britain, well most of the legions. And the land bridge between continental Europe and Great Britain, was no longer there! Constantine 1 had settled in Constantinople, and the Roman Empire under his rule allowed Christianity to become legal. (More taxes) But the legend of King Arthur of course lives on, as well as Hereward the Wake, and there were invasions of Saxons, and Danes who settled not without some fights, until the Normans of course in 1066. History is my passion, but sometimes we forget that 100 years spells four generations, and people didn’t live very long then.

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