The Daily Lew – Issue 6 – drill baby, drill.

LewWorld has increased its spin and is now “drilling into noise“. The resulting increased spin and precession looks to be creating dangerous wobble on LewWorld. Meanwhile while Lew is drilling for noise, McIntyre has tried to get the same results as Lewandowsky’s paper by taking Lewandowsky’s noisy data and applying the same techniques listed in the paper. Replication doesn’t appear possible. It looks like the paper is a dry hole even though it is gushing superheated air. Meanwhile, Lewandowsky’s coauthor, John Cook, has been host to his own oily conspiracy fanboy club. If you have not read it yest, be sure to read: ‘…we need a conspiracy to save humanity’, because it seems to be a true window into the soul of “Skeptical Science” denizens.  Also of interest, Tom Fuller analyses Lewandowsky’s medicalization of skeptics.

A. Scott takes a look at some of the drilling logic being applied by Lewandowsky in this essay below. Finally, at the end, I have a short poll about Michael Mann and Stephan Lewandowsky.

I have 10 fingers and toes, therefore I faked the (Moon) Landing hoax

Motivated Rejection of the Lew…by A.Scott

There’s a new story up – “drilling into noise” – by the lead author, Stephen Lewandowsky, of the recent paper NASA faked the moon landing – therefore (climate) science is a hoax: An anatomy of the motivated rejection of science.”

For the first time, in a now total 9 blog posts on this paper, this most recent story is more talk, less condescension and derision towards those who would dare challenge his work. Well OK, mostly, sorta less. It is a long story, with lots of fancy terms, initials, equations and descriptions.

In it he reminds us lowly unwashed masses that we are knowledge-less simpletons – merely “toying” with his data. That we couldn’t possibly understand all the important stuff real scientists like him know. Or maybe he didn’t say it exactly that way, but it’s just how it came across.  

He takes the long way around to re-tell us why skeptics are somehow conspiracy theorists who believe the moon landing, and (science), is fake, or something like that. I guess the parentheses mean because the answers to some of the other questions about science were true, that we can perform a latent variable analysis, and prove we actually DO believe in that fake old moon landing even though we said we didn’t. Or maybe not.

That’s this cool new idea he shares – we can’t just look at the simple answers to the questions – like whether we believe the moon landing was fake, nah, those 10 people don’t know nothing – they’re just noise. Nothing to see here – no one behind this curtain – now move along …

No – we must look to the answers of the other questions, to determine if we believe the moon landing was fake and thus are nasty old science rejecters. And motivated ones at that. Or something like that.

Of course he cannot go into the details in a place such as his own blog, but never fear he assures us, they mixed up some particularly resilient associations between latent constructs, and hypothesized that pesky measurement error right outta your clothes. I might have mixed that up a little though – its tough for us mere mortals to follow all that complicated sciencey stuff you know. I think I feel a definite conspiracy ideation coming on after that. Better take an aspirin.

I may be a bumpkin, but I think I can help simplify his story.

I have 10 fingers and 10 toes. So I can usually count to 20, or sometimes a few more, without much trouble.

I don’t need to even take my shoes off to count the total number of folks who agree the NASA Apollo Moon Landing was fake – and filmed in Hollywood … Beverley Hills that’s is …

Just 6 poor saps said they “Strongly Agree” the moon landing was a hoax. And 4 more said they “Agree.” A whopping 10 science rejecters right there I tell you. Of course some of them might be fake. We might only need one hand to count them.

I have a fancy technique too. Well, more of a rule really … my rule is if you can counts it on fingers and toes – its probably correct – they usually don’t lie.

I rarely need pivot tables, linear regression, informed judgment, uninformed judgment, deep statistical competence or incompetence, SEM, latent constructs, latent variables, latent prints, clean socks, pretty rocks, or any other special highfaluting whizbang stuff to count numbers that fit on my fingers and toes.

I submit a new theory too, that if a number fits on your fingers and toes, it ain’t that darn unhelpful noise he’s sqwaukin’ about – unless of course you’re snappin’ your fingers ’cause you just figured out the answer. That could be noise – at least if you’re good at snappin’ your fingers.

I can also tell you if you have a number that fits on the old “digit-all” calculator (its a joke son, get it – digits) and someone tries to claim it has some latent construct or any such thing if you compare it to to a room FULL of hands and feet, there just might be something in common between that fella and what ‘ol Bessie’s out in the pasture making right about now. He just might be one of them types, if they can’t dazzle you with their brilliance, they start trying to baffle you with their … err, well … Bessie byproduct.

I guess the moral of the story is you can always trust your fingers and toes.

Any time you can use those good old fingers and toes to solve a tough question you usually don’t need nothing fancier – and you can pretty much trust the answer. Even if you’re a scientist. Well, unless you’re a rocket scientist and you might send your pal Zeke the chimpanzee to Pluto instead of Mars. Then you should probably break out the slide rule.

Or at least take off your shoes to double check your work.


[added] also worth reading is Willaim Brigss essay: NASA Faked Moon Landing—Academic Psychologists Swoon, Tie It To Climate Change

One day a terrific psychological study is going to be written on the madness and mass lunacy which arose after climate change swam into the public’s ken. I don’t mean the actions and thoughts of the man-in-the-street, which were and are no different in this area than they were and are in any political matterhe . No: the real curiosity is what happened to academia, inside departments which haven’t anything to do with climatology.

Given the bizarre work of Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky, his hilarious protestations over the questions raised about his data gathering methods and his methodology, plus his “muted for prime time” hatred that you can read between the lines (as well as what we see on his mouthpiece wesbite, Skeptical Science, I decided it was time to ask this question:

Has Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky usurped Dr. Michael Mann as the most irrationally emotive spokesman for climate alarmism?


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I voted yes. Just compare their commenting style on their blogs. Mann can pose as clear, cold and precise when he has to. Lew doesn’t have that ability. He always seems about to explode. His censoring of comments is maniacal in its ideological fastidiousness. Lew is not really a scientist. He’s a propaganda artist.

Chris B

I like the short unambiguous answers to choose from. This will provide clear results.


Hard question. Mann has been in the lead for so long… Lewandowsky is coming up strong but it would be unfair to Dr. Mann to say he’s got him beat just yet.

Mr. Mann is still the Leader of the Pack! And Elvis is alive, if Lew cares about real conspiracy theories.

Psychology is not a hard science. Except for some.

chris y

Lewandowsky has a long road to walk if he ever wants to be considered in the same league as the persecuted-for-his-faith climate activist Michael Mann.

Mann still wins hands down. All Lew published was one junk science paper that immediately was shredded to tatters.
In six months, Lew will fade into obscurity, while Mann’s junk science will continue to misinform people in droves.

To be fair to Mann, he may have personality quirks that have flipped him over the edge – but he did start out by getting a proper qualification in a real science.
Lewandowsky shows no sign that he has any inkling of what is meant by scientific method.
He seems to have got where he is with a mixture of opportunism, sleight -of-hand, bluster and malevolence.
He seems to be borderline innumerate and be completely incapable of discussing differing opinions – other than by censorship and aggression.
He is possibly the most unpleasant character the climate debate has yet thrown up – and I find it extraordinary that he has infiltrated himself into an educational establishment.
I think he wins hands sown.

Patrick Hrushowy

It is really hard not to use extraordinarily unflattering terms to describe what I think of Dr. Lew. I have been fascinated by science since I was in high school (which was a very long time ago). While I did not go on to post grad doctoral work in science I did study geology in university and pride myself in being reasonably science-literate. It is therefore supremely insulting for this fellow to smear all people who hold reasonably-held questions about so-called “settled science”. It is also almost beyond comprehension that any real scientist would come to the defence of Lew, or that his university has not already suspended him for cause. It is likely going to take a decade or more to put science back into science as I fear the damage being created by climate scientists is already spilling over to the whole field of science. Who can trust an activist scientist these days?


Nice, clear question and choice of answers. If it were Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky doing the poll it might have taken the form:

Has Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky usurped Dr. Michael Mann as the most irrationally emotive spokesman for climate alarmism?
1) YesNoMaybeEquallyIrrationalandemotive
2) EquallyIrrationalandemotiveYesNoMaybe
3) EquallyIrrationalandYesNoMaybeemotive

Simple when you know how to tie things in.

Brian S

You have a bull named Bessie?


I voted for Mann not being replaced by Lewandowsky. Mann is not stupid, but knows he has done crap work and is trying to re-write history to salvage his spotty career. Lewandowsky, on the other hand, doesn’t have a clue the extent of his ignorance. I doubt if Mann would bother to talk to someone as dumb as Lewie.


Jim Hansen and Tim Flannery will be most put out not to have made the poll, and Julia Gillard has done more than any politician to bankrupt a nation in the cause of climate alarmism. So many to choose from, and so little editorial space to fill…..

Lady in Red

This is all sooooooooooo embarrassing for the climate “science” community. In the aggregate they seem to be beating out the Education Departments for the lowest SAT/GRE test scores and the least competence.
Whatever happens in the next decade — whether Goldman Sachs and the politicians succeed in implementing a carbon tax “commission” on top of everything else — the blot on the climate “science” escutcheon will endure for at least a generation, beyond.
Iowahawk is one of my favorities and this essay on the clowns in the “science” is one of my favoriites of one of my favorites:
…Lady in Red
PS: By any measure, Judith Curry is a star. Same time, she’s practically her own galaxy standing around alongside this crowd of losers and their “soft science” pals.


I would have preferred to see more options such as:
-Neither is significantly irrational and emotive
-In this regard a third climate alarmism spokesperson trumps both of them (e.g. Al Gore)
I voted that Mann still rules this category as I don’t believe Lewandowsky carries significant weight as a climate alarmism spokesman but is more of a sideshow freak. Mann is by far the more (and probably most) damaging to the hard science as well as being highly emotional and irrational.


What no conspiracy questions, i.e. “Lewandowsky is a mindless robot, designed and controlled by Mann, Hansen and Gleick.”?

John F. Hultquist

I think the idea of quantization applies, meaning that the magnitude can take on only certain discrete values. The quantum in this case is the “crank.” The free dictionary says this is an informal term to describe a grouchy person of eccentric character, “especially one who is unduly zealous.”
As they are both cranks, I had to go with equally irrational and emotive.

I’ve just performed an SEM latent variable analysis on the results of Anthony’s poll so far, using an advanced technique so obscure and powerful that none of you people of lesser intellect could get anywhere near understanding it.
I cannot get into the details here, but basically SEM permits computation of the error-free associations between constructs, such as one’s attitudes towards Mann and one’s Lewandowsky ideation. It is because measurement error has been reduced or eliminated, that correlations between constructs are higher in magnitude than might be suggested by the pairwise correlations between items.
It clearly shows there is a latent signal that most here believe Professor Lewandowsky to be an intellectual giant and a prince among men.

“As they round the post….it is Doctor Loo closing from the outside lane to a photo finish with Mickey Mann….but there’s another stretch to run….the Muller, Suzuki and Schneider dark horses are still in the pack”….
too close to call…gotta go with the “equally irrational and emotive”….


I just plugged my tinfoil hat in and tried to tune into the Orbital Mind Control Laser Array, so I could be told which way to vote, it blew the switches and now all the lights in my street have gone out


I voted for both the same cranks….but I think the poll needs a couple of more choices.
[snip -over the top ~moderator]


I voted for Mann. He has real staying power. After all, Congress debunked his “Hockey Stick” back in 2006, yet he still is hanging on to it.
Six years! Lewandowski may be stranger, but he’ll never last. Here today, gone tomorrow.
Mann’s like a mule, while Lew’s like a swarm of midges just before a frost.

 From reading the recent stream of   Lewandowsky’s posts at his website, I am reminded of the opening stanza of   William Butler Yeats’ (1865-1939) poem ‘THE SECOND COMING’:

  ” Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”

Lewandowsky’s center is CAGW propaganda.  Its inherent irrationality can only end in its own chaos and collapse; the rational meanwhile continue their normal achievements in gaining objective knowledge of reality.


I almost feel like asking everyone to stop critiquing Australian research in this area out of mercy, recently we’ve had Gergis and Lewandowsky and of course Cook’s SkS site that has been Orwell’s Minitrue for a few years now. Australian “this is commonly referred to as research” is so hopeless It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

I voted “No” because even the warmists think Lew is a joke (except for the truly brainwashed). The guy is a silly diversion. Mann will always be a joke to the skeptics but the warmists still fawn over his every utterance. I sure do wish he’d man up and take Steyn to court.

Bill Marsh

Nice, clear question and choice of answers. If it were Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky doing the poll it might have taken the form:
Has Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky usurped Dr. Michael Mann as the most irrationally emotive spokesman for climate alarmism?
1) YesNoMaybeEquallyIrrationalandemotive
2) EquallyIrrationalandemotiveYesNoMaybe
3) EquallyIrrationalandYesNoMaybeemotive
Simple when you know how to tie things in.
then he would have applied his scientificy, super sophisticated mathematical formulae that would tell him the ‘real’ answers regardless of what the actual answers were.

Rob Dawg

Check your wallet. Mann has all ten fingers in there. Lew has only nicked a twenty to go to the movies to watch “Capricorn One” with his buddies. Of course with the ethanol mandate the popcorn is too expensive so he’ll need more to finish his “research.”


How about some kind of Ig Nobel prize for climate scientists?

Robert M

Both are irrational and emotive. The problem here is measure the degree of emotional irrationality. Unfortunately both of these esteemed Climate Scientists peg my measuring equipment. In fact, when conducting my tests, my irrational meter pegged on Certifiable Fruit Loop, then then failed. So the real question is… What comes after that? Perhaps we need to designate a new category. Perhaps Climate Alarmist Thumb Sucker?


A. Scott:
You say

I have 10 fingers and 10 toes. So I can usually count to 20, or sometimes a few more, without much trouble.

Well, I have 10 fingers and 10 toes. So I can usually count to 524,288 and double that if I ignore zero. But I doubt Lew has the mathematical ability and understanding for him to work out how I do it.

john robertson

Maybe we are too hard on Lewandosky, after all at least he is consistent with climatology as it has been practised. First start with a preconceived ideology. Check. Second ignore/manufacture data to suit. Check.By the standards of the team the good Dr is a fine upstanding saviour of the planet.Do I need sarc? A tax on do-gooders would solve much of the noise from these self-styled saviours. Dogooder being any, who want to use other peoples money to solve social problems only they see, and a tax of 150% of their gross would encourage sanity or at least silence.


What about Hansen, he would seem to fit well in the same company as Mann and Lewandowsky?

Steve C

No, this pipsqueak won’t take the place of Mann. He’s given the warmists their headline, it doesn’t matter now if he slips back into (well-deserved) obscurity.
Can’t help feeling Hansen ought to be in the mix somewhere, too, though, if only for going off and getting himself ostentatiously arrested for “The Cause”. A bit more style, if no more substance.


Ian says:
September 17, 2012 at 9:16 am
How about some kind of Ig Nobel prize for climate scientists?
Already in the works. Pointman (Pointman’s) has an annual Climate Prat Award contest going. The problem is, the field is too rich.


It might be a more interesting poll to compare which climate scientists self identified skeptics believe are ‘closest to the truth’.
I.E. Lindzen, Spencer, Christy, Curry, Issac Held, James Hansen(NASA) or Michael Mann. They all have Phd’s in the relevant field. Lindzen,Held and Hansen are members in good standing of the National Acedemies of Science in the relavent geophysics section.

j molloy

I say people will revisit and stack the result but since I have no evidence to support this claim my opinion amounts to c0n5p1r1cy theory DOH!

Bad News Quillan

I voted for both (#3).
Reason: both are being equally defended by the alarmists (See, e.g., DeSmogBlog)…
because they CANNOT admit error. Ever. (Mann, Lew, Gleick many other cases).
They rather defend the most blatant fraud and incompetence. Amazing.
— Bad News

Reed Coray

Excellent post!
My recommended poll: “Who (Lew the sciencey psychologist or Mann the statistical wizard) will be the first to shave his beard in an attempt to extricate himself from mess that is AGW?”


Attempting to plumb the depths to precisely gauge the irrationality of the truly irrational is, in a word, irrational. That way, madness lies. All relevant parameters (and they are legion) involve reciprocal coefficients of root minus one of FA.

Chris B

The TEAM are all reptiles from another planet.

“Has Lewendowsky usurped Mann …. ?”
Well I agree that Mann isn’t the benchmark. Anyone who has spent time at sKs could point to several “emotively irrational” candidates far more worthy of challenge than poor old Mike. I, along with many others, spent time at the infamous site trying to put forward a reasonably argued case only to be abused, snipped, deleted and eventually banned. What a mob of tossers. It comes as no surprise that Lewendowsky has close ties to Cook.

I voted no. It’ll take Lewandowsky a long time to equal the reach Dr. Mann has: Ties to Jim Hansen, a college speaking tour, a book – complete with good reviews on Amazon 🙂 – and remarkable consistency despite the several groups that debunked the hockey stick. Mann remains the climate scientist the other pretenders look to for guidance.
Dr. (is he a Dr.?) Lew has a long way to equal Al “Flat Earth” Gore too.
BTW, isn’t responding to my browser. No need to offer help. Even better, I can’t access

richardscourtney says:
September 17, 2012 at 9:25 am

Well, I have 10 fingers and 10 toes. So I can usually count to 524,288 and double that if I ignore zero. But I doubt Lew has the mathematical ability and understanding for him to work out how I do it.

Care to try that one again? My fingers and toes count up to 1048575, starting at zero. Well, they would if I didn’t need to hold my toes in position with my fingers.


Brian S says: September 17, 2012 at 8:12 am
Hey, nice catch!
But… The essay by A. Scott is brilliant and funny.

john robertson says:
September 17, 2012 at 9:33 am
“Maybe we are too hard on Lewandosky”
Anyone who deletes blog comments simply because he doesn’t like what they say deserves (almost) all he gets. Clewless Lew has opened a can of worms, when he thought he’d be getting approbation for his “TAKE THAT deniers!” paper. The pats on the back are all from Bessie.


Hey he’s an academic at UWA, I’;d be asking them about the Michael Mann question just because of the court cases, good old Micky Manne managed to get a couple on the go so why not Lew boy for UWA?


Ric Werme:
At September 17, 2012 at 9:25 am I wrote

Well, I have 10 fingers and 10 toes. So I can usually count to 524,288 and double that if I ignore zero.

At September 17, 2012 at 10:37 am you have replied saying

Care to try that one again? My fingers and toes count up to 1048575, starting at zero. Well, they would if I didn’t need to hold my toes in position with my fingers.

I stand corrected. Of course you are right. Thankyou.
But I have not counted anything to over a million.


I can only count to 530432 but that’s only with my fingers and thumbs as my feet smell, I include zero though. Alot of zeros.

Wes Spiers

It’s ironic that both Steve McIntyre and Steve Lewandowsky are graduates of the same university, (Univ. of Toronto) albeit from different departments and 16 years apart.


Binary math in sign language? Cool!