Quote of the Week – The Galileo Syndrome redux

Climate skeptics are routinely pilloried and shunned for daring to question the perceived scientific consensus on climate change, or even the cooked up 97% consensus. There are tactics of fear and intimidation that are used to try to silence many who choose to try publishing scientific works that question the consensus, as well as those who speak out politically. To hear climate proponents talk, any comparison made about treatment of climate skeptics paralleling the plight of Galileo is nothing but ridiculous. Cook’s “Skeptical Science” says:

The comparison is exactly backwards. Modern scientists follow the evidence-based scientific method that Galileo pioneered. Skeptics who oppose scientific findings that threaten their world view are far closer to Galileo’s belief-based critics in the Catholic Church.

With that in mind, read how science and medicine seems to want to hang on to a perceived consensus while excommunicating those who dare to question it. From The Guardian, of all places. Bold mine, highlighting what I consider being the QOTW.

This shaken baby syndrome case is a dark day for science – and for justice

A leading doctor faces being struck off for challenging the theory about the infant condition. It’s like Galileo all over again

On Friday, I witnessed something akin to a reenactment of the trial of Galileo, precisely four centuries after the original. Dr Waney Squier faces being struck off by the General Medical Council (GMC) for having the temerity to challenge the mainstream theory on shaken baby syndrome (SBS).

For years, the medical profession has boldly asserted that a particular “triad” of neurological observations is essentially diagnostic of SBS. Since the Nuremberg Code properly prevents human experimentation, this is an unproved hypothesis, and there has been rising doubt as to its validity.

I am convinced that Squier is correct, but one does not have to agree with me to see the ugly side to the GMC prosecution: the moment that we are denied the right to question a scientific theory that is held by the majority, we are not far away from Galileo’s predicament in 1615, as he appeared before the papal inquisition. He dared to suggest that the Bible was an authority on faith and morals, rather than on science, and that 1 Chronicles 16:30 – “the world is firmly established, it cannot be moved” – did not mean that the Earth was rigidly lodged at the epicentre of the universe. It was not until 1982 that Pope John Paul II issued a formal admission that the church had got it wrong.

Shaken baby syndrome is almost unique among medical diagnoses in that it is not focused on treating the child. If an infant has bleeding on the brain (a subdural hematoma), the doctor wants to relieve the pressure – it is of little relevance how the infant came about the injury. SBS is, then, a “diagnosis” of a crime rather than an illness, and when a brain surgeon comes into the courtroom and “diagnoses” guilt, the defendant, mostly a parent, is likely to go to prison – or worse.

While we cannot drop a series of infants on their heads to test this, it would appear to be plain folly. The velocity of a five-foot fall means a child’s head can hit the ground at roughly 15mph, which is faster than most people – short of Usain Bolt – can sprint. I invited a series of neurosurgeons to run headlong into a hardwood wall in one courtroom, so we could see what happened to them. They politely declined, and stuck to their silly theory.

Those deemed to be blasphemers often suffer a gruesome fate. Although Squier may be struck off, at least she will not be burned at the stake. But the impact on medical science will be immense, because what other doctor will be prepared to question the prosecution theory if it means the end of a career? This is a very dark day for science, as it is for justice.

Read the entire article here h/t to Bishop Hill

Sound familiar?

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March 15, 2016 9:02 am

Here in Canada, even when they use “science”, they sometimes get it wrong:
You’d think that children, the most vulnerable among us, would be protected better.

Reply to  CaligulaJones
March 15, 2016 8:29 pm

…not when they can be aborted during an even more vulnerable time before birth.

Reply to  noaaprogrammer
March 16, 2016 4:37 am

‘Shaken baby syndrome’ isn’t ‘dropping the baby’ as the author of this article claims. It is shaking a baby back and forth violently so the brain bangs back and forth inside the head causing brain damage.

March 15, 2016 9:05 am

Re: “The velocity of a five-foot fall means a child’s head can hit the ground at roughly 15 mph…”
That’s slightly wrong
d=distance, g=acceleration of gravity, t=time, v=velocity
d = 0.5 g x t²
Solving for t:
2d = g x t²
t² = 2d / g
t = sqrt(2d/g)
t = sqrt(2d) / sqrt(g)
v = g x t
Substituting for t:
v = g x sqrt(2d) / sqrt(g)
v = g x sqrt(2d) / sqrt(g)
v = (g / sqrt(g)) x sqrt(2) x sqrt(d)
v = sqrt(2g) x sqrt(d)
g = 9.8 m/sec²
d = 1.524 meters
v = sqrt(19.6 x 1.524) m/sec
v = sqrt( 29.870 ) m/sec
v = 5.465 m/sec
1 meter = 39.37 inches, so
v = 5.465 m/sec x (39.37/12) ft/m = 17.9 ft/sec.
which is 12.2 mph.
12 mph, not 15 mph.

Reply to  daveburton
March 15, 2016 9:09 am

That’s a huge load off of my mind.

Reply to  daveburton
March 15, 2016 9:25 am

..Hey, you forgot to account for wind speed !

Reply to  Marcus
March 15, 2016 8:30 pm

…and the cushioning provided by the hair, bonnet, and carpet on the floor.

Reply to  Marcus
March 15, 2016 9:05 pm

And to put this to really good use, use the energy saved by coasting to a stop sign or traffic light instead of braking at the last minute; energy saved ~delta V*2 so slowing from 40mph to 30mph by coasting before braking results in an equivalent savings of a full brake from ~26mph. Not to hard to get close to 200K on a set of expensive brake linings (if having the work done/more if rotors/drums damaged). I grin when I see someone actually speed up to take an off ramp as their auto downtime soon awaits them.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Marcus
March 15, 2016 10:45 pm

I know that in the UK if you are coasting, the road rules and law consider you to be not in control of the vehicle which can attract a hefty fine. To this day, I am not sure how they police that.

Reply to  daveburton
March 15, 2016 9:33 am

That’s why he used the word roughly to spare us the time wasted reading irrelevant, trivial spam.
Children are often propelled into objects they strike when falling by their own self generated momentum

March 15, 2016 at 9:05 am
Re: “The velocity of a five-foot fall means a child’s head can hit the ground at roughly 15 mph…”
That’s slightly wrong
d=distance, g=acceleration of gravity, t=time, v=velocity
d = 0.5 g x t²
Solving for t:
2d = g x t²
t² = 2d / g
t = sqrt(2d/g)
t = sqrt(2d) / sqrt(g)
v = g x t
Substituting for t:
v = g x sqrt(2d) / sqrt(g)
v = g x sqrt(2d) / sqrt(g)
v = (g / sqrt(g)) x sqrt(2) x sqrt(d)
v = sqrt(2g) x sqrt(d)
g = 9.8 m/sec²
d = 1.524 meters
v = sqrt(19.6 x 1.524) m/sec
v = sqrt( 29.870 ) m/sec
v = 5.465 m/sec
meter = 39.37 inches, so
v = 5.465 m/sec x (39.37/12) ft/m = 17.9 ft/sec.
which is 12.2 mph.
12 mph, not 15 mph.

Reply to  Elliot
March 15, 2016 10:12 am

What about spherical babies in a vacuum?

Reply to  Elliot
March 15, 2016 10:29 am

Force of impact is proportional to the square of the velocity, hence the force of a 15 mph impact is 150% of a 12 mph impact. Not a trivial difference. Roughly.

Reply to  Elliot
March 15, 2016 12:21 pm

“What about spherical babies in a vacuum?”
Don’t they all fall at the same rate in a constant gravitational field? Regardless of size/mass etc?

Reply to  Elliot
March 15, 2016 12:32 pm

I believe Galileo also tried a similar experiment in Pisa but he had trouble creating the necessary vacuum around the city.
Should have inhaled harder I guess when he dropped the cannon-balls.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  daveburton
March 15, 2016 11:05 am

Did you account for gravitational waves?

Reply to  Tom in Florida
March 15, 2016 11:55 am

What height above the earth did the baby fall from? Was he or she at ground level or in the Alps?

Reply to  daveburton
March 15, 2016 12:37 pm

The world needs more pedants.

Reply to  Gamecock
March 15, 2016 1:14 pm

Yes. No-one mentioned latitude or solar effects on falling down. /sarc

Reply to  Gamecock
March 15, 2016 3:20 pm

Here ya go;
The center of mass is the approximate 12 mph. Given the likely rotational momentum, the head bonk could be +/- another 3mph

Reply to  daveburton
March 15, 2016 3:16 pm

He said “roughly”. 🙂

March 15, 2016 9:07 am

Mr. Watts, your courage and your blog are an amazing testimony to bravery in the face of the hoaxers and liers who wish to control us all. Their scheme of “gaslighting” to convince us we must be insane to deny their lies is so demonic that it, indeed is making us crazy. (reference old movie for “gaslighting”, a popular term in today’s ‘alt-right’ internet sphere). Now our USSA attorney general openly speaks of jailing people who dare to “deny” the “reality” of climate change/ global warming !! Has the Obamanation decreed such a law ? When the “approved narrative” is firmly in the hands of those wish to implement the carbon taxes to benefit the insiders- wall streeters and their paid political hacks, how is possible for the truth to come out- when they literally own the “church”, the dissenters will indeed get “burned” !!

Reply to  thebillyc
March 15, 2016 9:22 am

thebillyc March 15, 2016 at 9:07 am
“Mr. Watts, your courage and your blog are an amazing testimony to bravery in the face of the hoaxers and liers who wish to control us all. Their scheme of “gaslighting” to convince us we must be insane to deny their lies is so demonic that it, indeed is making us crazy. ”
I cannot wait for those removed comments about iron sun and chemtrails are therefore allowed onto WUWT for here there is no scientific elitism,
[Reply: The site proprietor draws the line. Otherwise, we would have people arguing astrology, Scientology, and Heffalumps here. Or worse. ~mod]

Mike Bromley the Kurd
Reply to  sergeiMK
March 15, 2016 9:37 am

Seems it survived your attempt to establish it.

Reply to  sergeiMK
March 15, 2016 12:41 pm

When did Heffalumps get added to the list.
Now I’m really upset.

Reply to  sergeiMK
March 15, 2016 2:23 pm

The heffalump link was very amusing 😀 Thank you

Reply to  sergeiMK
March 16, 2016 6:41 pm

” The chemtrails idea is nothing but a poorly evidenced conspiracy theory based on flawed observations with no real basis in fact …”
Or, Anthony is not really an all-knowing God.
Don’t fall for this on again off again blind faith in the “elites” I warn, readers. Do your own research.

Eugene WR Gallun
Reply to  thebillyc
March 15, 2016 12:13 pm

thebillyx — President Obamanation. Got to love it. — Eugene WR Gallun

March 15, 2016 9:08 am

Interesting point on Shaken Baby Syndrome, but a bit off point. SBS is something one cannot ethically test, while there is at least retrospective evidence on CAGW.

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 15, 2016 9:12 am

There is evidence of CAGW? Please produce same, I have never been able to locate any.
PS: Climate models are not evidence.
Nor is the mere fact that the earth has warmed, unless you can adequately explain why the causes of the other, much more extreme warming events of the last 5000 years are not at work once again.

Reply to  MarkW
March 15, 2016 10:37 am

I meant that the assertion could be tested, not that there was any evidence in favor of CAGW–in fact, the evidence is disconfirming as far as I know. Obviously the earth’s temperature shows a history of quasi-cyclical temperature variations, and the evidence supporting the CO2-is-responsible-for-all-temperature-increases-from-1970 is lame.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Tom Halla
March 15, 2016 9:21 am

There is little or no evidence of AGW globally, let alone for catastrophic effects. So far, increased CO2 has been beneficial.
Science can’t say with a high level of confidence whether the net effect of human activities has been to cool or warm the planet, but in any case whatever its sign might be, man-made contribution to planetary average temperature is so negligible as to be virtually unmeasurable.

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 15, 2016 9:28 am

Hi Mr. Halla,
CAGW is term used for a process existing only in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  vukcevic
March 15, 2016 11:42 am

Vuc, you and MarkW can’t seem to parse the difference between “on” and “of/for”.

Reply to  vukcevic
March 15, 2016 12:55 pm

D. J. Hawkins, thanks for the note
Apology for upsetting your linguistic sensitivities, my excuse is that by the time I learned a bit of English, my brain was already hard wired for a minor east European language.
How about parsing difference between ‘vuk’ and ‘vuc’ ?

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  vukcevic
March 16, 2016 4:39 am

Touché! 😉

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 15, 2016 5:28 pm

“SBS is something one cannot ethically test”
And yet we test all sorts of poisons on “models”.

March 15, 2016 9:08 am

Reminds me of the “recovered memories” fiasco of not to many years ago.

Rob Morrow
March 15, 2016 9:37 am

“Modern scientists follow the evidence-based scientific method that Galileo pioneered”
Climate scientists certainly should follow evidence based methods. Instead most of them fail to properly define for the public what is evidence and what is not.

ferd berple
Reply to  Rob Morrow
March 15, 2016 11:28 am

Pseudoscience is also evidence based. If you search the population you will find many stressed out people with ulcers. Since for 100+ years scientists could not find any other cause for ulcers, that was taken as proof that stress caused ulcers.
The same holds for cholesterol/fat/inactivity/stress causes heart disease, or CO2 causes global warming. Always the argument is the same. Since we cannot find any other cause, whatever is left must be the cause.
Evidence based Pseudo-Science. The underlying assumption is that we know all there is to know, or very close to all there is to know. Yet the opposite is plainly true, as the pace of new discoveries is growing exponentially every year without any end in sight.
This argues that there is much more that we don’t know as compared to what we do know.

March 15, 2016 9:54 am

I don’t know if 4 years old qualifies as infant but I conducted an experiment on myself by falling off the top of a bunk bed requiring stitches and acquiring a scar on my forehead. I still remember the operating room visit for both receiving and removing the 4 stitches.
A few years later and I almost died from pneumonitis and spent 2 months in a bed. I used to hate winter until I discovered it relieved me from Global Warming people.

Myron Mesecke
March 15, 2016 9:55 am

Similar to the 1980s when two doctors claimed that bacteria was the cause of many stomach ulcers. The established consensus was that bacteria couldn’t live in the stomach. The established consensus was that stomach acid caused ulcers. The doctors were ridiculed for their claim regarding bacteria.
They later won the Nobel prize.

Reply to  Myron Mesecke
March 15, 2016 10:17 am

100% of scientists with an opinion in a particular field can be proven wrong by the data too, so the 97% number is an irrelevance. Everyone who thought they knew how the anti-cancer drug bound to the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (including myself, and others who later got Nobel prizes for Chemistry) were surprised to find out, when the crystal structure was determined, that it was in the active site “upside-down”.

Reply to  philincalifornia
March 15, 2016 10:22 am

… anti-cancer drug Methotrexate ….

Reply to  Myron Mesecke
March 15, 2016 11:29 am

On the contrary far from being ridiculed the Warren & Marshall paper in 1984 (in the Lancet a prominent medical journal) led to an outburst of research on the subject worldwide. in 1987 the New England Journal of Medicine produced an editorial on the subject which concluded: “Further unfolding of the details [of the possible etiologic role of C. pylori in peptic ulcer disease] will be enhanced by the development of an animal model, by epidemiologic studies, and by identification of the source and the virulence properties of specific serotypes of C. pylori. The prospects are exciting, intriguing, and promising”

Reply to  Phil.
March 15, 2016 3:11 pm

From nobelprize.org : “Barry Marshall’s and Robin Warren’s discovery that ulcers are caused by a bacterial infection was therefore completely revolutionary and was initially met by great skepticism.“.
Presentation Speech by Professor Staffan Normark, Member of the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, December 10, 2005.
There’s more detailed information in #7 of http://cogsci.uwaterloo.ca/Articles/Pages/Ulcers.one.html#anchor07
more established medical researchers and practitioners had beliefs about the nature and treatment of ulcers that clashed with the new hypotheses and led them to reject them summarily‘.
Marshall, a young, unknown Australian who put forward his new hypotheses with confidence amounting to brashness, was viewed as crazy“.

michael hart
March 15, 2016 10:13 am

Details of the Squier case aside, I think there is a wider problem that is often not appreciated by the MSM when attempting to understand scientific disagreements, if they attempt it at all.
Squier is being/has been criticised for repeatedly doubting a theory in court.
Another, equally prominent, name in the UK is that of Roy Meadow, a British paediatrician whose theory and legal testimony in court was used to convict parents in high-profile cases, before he was brought low. (Tragically so in the case of Sally Clark.)
Many in the media, The Guardian included, still appear to think that there must be some kind of logical symmetry between a correct theory, and reasonable doubt. Courts may actually exist to make a decision, to the best of their abilities, not to be right. Science does not follow the same logic. It is frequently most appropriate for a scientist to actually say “I don’t know, or I cannot really know with confidence.”
Unfortunately, when it comes to saving-the-planet, it is not difficult to find “experts” with a surfeit of confidence over competence.

Reply to  michael hart
March 15, 2016 5:52 pm

Judges with exactly zero science training are expected to discriminate real experts and reliable scientific evidence… LOL

March 15, 2016 10:24 am

This article brings to mind the many retirement age scientists who told the world, that the AGW movement from first word to the last, was based in obviously error riddled, internally contradictory claims disproved mostly, before of their proponents were born.

March 15, 2016 10:34 am

While the analogy may be apt in general, not this case. I did a little research before commenting, as had seen this earlier today at BH and had to sit in a doctor’s office for an hour waiting for my significantmother fo complete a treatment.
The article is by Dr. Squier’s lawyer, who lost the GMC hearing. He lost because Dr. Squiers as a sworn expert witness in 6 court cases (a) misstated the medical facts of the cases (e.g. Autopsy findings) and (b) mistated or misrepresented the conclusions of medical research into SBS and those case facts. NOT because she doesn’t believe the ‘triad’ of SBS symptoms when all are present is diagnostic. In other words, six cases of professional misconduct under oath concerning SBS expert witness testimony.
BTW, Mayo Clinic has a slightly different SBS diagnosis symptom triad than the NMS in the UK, available on line: 1. Concussion like brain injury up to subdural hematoma. 2. Whiplash like neck injury up to herniated disks. 3. Bleeding in the eye. Mayo also says bruising where the child was held, frequently accompanied by cracked ribs, makes an SBS diagnosis definitive. Bruising and cracked ribs are evident in some, but not all cases where the triad of SBS symptoms presents according to Mayo.

michael hart
Reply to  ristvan
March 15, 2016 11:02 am

Rud, I was commenting on the media commentary/criticism. I thought I had tried to make that clear.

Reply to  michael hart
March 15, 2016 11:53 am

My comment was general, not in the slightest aimed at yours. I was composing it when you posted. Regards.

David L. Hagen
March 15, 2016 10:36 am

The Pigeons Attack Again
Galileo was so successful in explaining his discoveries and the foundations science that the Aristotelian Academics teaching Aristotle’s failed predictions were about to lose their jobs. Unable to rebut his science, they formed the Liga secret society – (the Pigeons) which accused Galileo before the Pope and Inquisition of speaking against the Bible. This history was discovered by Physicist Roy Peacock on sabbatical in Pizza, and documented in his book: A Brief History of Eternity. See: Galileo & the Liga
Chief Pigeon Cook
Today it is again the politically correct “climate science” with systemically failed model projections that is unable to confront the facts raised by climate skeptics. So like the Liga, Cook leads today’s Pigeons appeal to logical fallacies, accusing skeptics of being “climate deniers”, “anti-science” etc, rather than confronting the astounding failures of their climate models with the politically correct very high CO2 sensitivity.

March 15, 2016 10:54 am

What is sad is that the proponents of consensus are beginning to enforce their views and silence opponents much the same way opponents are silenced in totalitarian states. I mean how is the attempt to enforce the consensus any different than communist party members policing behavior in China, sharia enforcers in many Muslim countries?

Ron Henderson
Reply to  Mohatdebos
March 15, 2016 11:49 am

The astonishing lack of real scientists in the movement built around the profiteering is a big sign something is wrong. People of logic and truth can’t stand associat I on with half science, half falsehood so they simply remain working at their real jobs and let the mass media wreck scientific culture. What can they do when who can be the most obscenely circus like and pedantic?
It’s the case of bandits moving into the neighborhood. Sensible adults take their real scientific acumen to work while the hyenas compete in character assassination techniques and then crow that it’s science prompting them to behave like barbaric trolls.
One need not even delude oneself scientific truth has much to do with something when there is one main agenda, and that is to sound as sophisticated as possible while proving there is no use in reasoning.
Lying as a way of life, posing as a scientist, is the new fad in grass roots media.

Berényi Péter
March 15, 2016 11:26 am

Since the Nuremberg Code properly prevents human experimentation, this is an unproved hypothesis, and there has been rising doubt as to its validity.

There is no need to do human experiments. Infant car crash dummies were developed many decades ago, closely mimicking the mechanical properties of babies.
Shake it vigorously, then drop it from a height of 5 feet head first onto a hardwood floor and compare accelerations measured inside its head. That’s the way to do it.

March 15, 2016 11:41 am

Re. Galileo Syndrome, 3/15/2016.
Interesting is the choice of syndrome instead of, say, witch-hunt, in the headline to describe the persecution of Galileo by ignorant authorities and a named blogger.
SBS is one of a class of syndromes diagnosticians treat as diseases, (though as the Guardian’s Clive Smith teaches, the SRS diagnosis is now a cause for persecution and prosecution, not treatment.) Other examples are ADHD and the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Each is supposed to be an m-out-of-n reckoning of symptoms from an associated list of symptoms, which are, especially in mild cases, quite unmeasurable, so not factual. When used for treatment, they fall under the rubric of Clinical Causation, which is distinct from causation. See, e.g., Montgomery, How Doctors Think. It is a diagnosis sufficient to warrant treatment under some prevailing standard of practice. But too often it results in an excuse for misbehavior, or the scientifically arbitrary administration of psychotropic drugs, like Ritalin, Adderall, and Risperdal. These treatments are likely to have the unintended consequences of interfering with normal brain development and learning sufficient to cope with ordinary challenges of life. Certainly this is a worry for children, but it should also worry anyone who believes in the efficacy of criminal rehabilitation or psychotherapy.
Science is prediction of future facts from present facts by deduction (never induction) through Cause & Effect propositions (causation). Facts are observations reduced by to measurements and compared with standards. Diseases with a scientific foundation have a causative agent, as in a virus, bacterium, deformity, diet, poison, or mutation.
Medical science has far less than all the answers. So, physicians and psychologists are in a fix. Patients need and demand treatment for symptoms, but right after ABC (airway, breathing, circulation) comes First second do no harm. Lack of training in the meaning and implications of science is a path to unintended consequences and patient harm, but also to public disasters.
True, Galileo was persecuted out of ignorance. But he was just one unfortunate soul. Think what the DDT ban did to malaria deaths worldwide. Think, if you know, of what the Fat Scare has done to obesity, diabetes, and mortality. Put aside what the Global Warming hysterics preach, and consider what they are trying to do, starting with Western technology. Think of Marxism. Think of Popperism. Scientific illiteracy, promoted by the Western replacement of science training with environmentalism, is a common cause of these existing and promised societal tragedies.

March 15, 2016 11:50 am

You forgot to account for land development

Juan Slayton
March 15, 2016 11:59 am

On January 17 last, I experienced what the doctors refer to as a “syncope”. That’s where you pass out and later wake up. If you don’t wake up, it’s called “sudden cardiac death”. The distance from the top of my head to the object on which I landed was maybe 3 feet. The result: a couple of apparently cracked ribs and a belated defibrillator implant a week later.
I would hate to be on a jury in an SBS case, because the unpredictable nature of accidental injuries would make reasonable doubt very strong. It would take a fair amount of evidence apart from the injury itself to overcome that.

March 15, 2016 12:09 pm

There is no such person as a climate skeptic. so why do you(wattsupwiththat.com) keep on using the term? there are man made climate skeptics.. Dont let the alarmists try to fool the public that those of us who do not accept man made climate change are denying climate change. Climate has changes for billions of years and ALL scientists believe in climate change. it is the alarmists who are the real deniers, denying the scientific facts of climate change, that the contribution of humans to climate change is insignificant.(believed by tens of thousands of scientists (example see Murry Salby`s Westminster lecture in 2015 youtube)

Reply to  Terri Jackson
March 15, 2016 1:00 pm

There is no such person as a climate skeptic. so why do you (wattsupwiththat.com) keep on using the term?
A few years ago, when Anthony was asked how the consensus of readers could be identified, he replied that “skeptics” will do.
Skeptics are the only honest kind of scientists. All honest scientists are skeptics, first and foremost. That label distinguishes most readers from the climate alarmist crowd, who accept the ‘dangerous AGW’ conjecture despite the fact that there isn’t one valid measurement quantifying AGW.
Climate alarmists can just as accurately be labeled as eco-religionists. They accept assertions as scientific facts, despite having no factual measurements to support their belief.

March 15, 2016 12:09 pm

So what is true is that even forensic evidence is open to interpretation no matter how white the lab coats or august the reputations. Frequently there are certified “experts” on both sides of an issue at trial. What cannot be allowed is corruption and misrepresentation of the evidence. In court, where the whole process is controlled by lawyers that is hard to achieve. Sort of explains why it is so hard to get Congress to understand scientific issues doesn’t it?

March 15, 2016 12:13 pm

Choose your battles wisely! I heard that before.
If the “climate change” being discussed here is about temperature, then I agree the climate does change from warm to cold or from cold to warm.
If anyone claims that earths temperature travels in only one direction, due to one factor or another, demand extraordinary evidence and proof of such an extraordinary claim.

March 15, 2016 12:36 pm

I believe it was in 1992 that Pope John Paul II lifted the edict of inquisition against Galileo, not 1982. Regardless, it was more of a symbolic gesture that left the Roman Catholic Church generally regarded as the principal villain in this episode.

March 15, 2016 2:58 pm

For a learned examination of such matters as medieval science, modern science and even some pertinent comments on Galileo, those who do not have closed minds on these issues may find this article useful:

March 15, 2016 5:19 pm

Well, they said nothing when MD were threatened for daring to be skeptics about the mandatory vaccine programs designed to make the Medical Complex even richer… equating critics of vaccines to promoters of voodoo (when the real promoters of voodoo are too often the vaccine fanboys).

Robert B
March 15, 2016 5:44 pm

Looks like a the need to remind everyone that Galileo was given a stipend to prepare and publish an argument for the Copernicus System after originally being told he was not prohibited from discussing heliocentrism as a mathematical and philosophic idea, so long as he did not advocate for its physical truth. Galileo used the opportunity to humiliate the then Pope who was once a friend. For this as much as misrepresenting the Bible, he received a sentence of house arrest which was to not cross a river a few kilometers from a palace that he lived in so luxuriously that his daughter feared for his health.
Copernicus himself was a deacon within the Church and was not harassed during his lifetime. His system was even received glowing reviews from a Pope during his lifetime and used to calculate the new calendar just before the Galileo affair.
At the same time, Jesuits were supporting Kepler because he proposed a system that could do a better job of predicting the position of planets and was not using the Bible to back up his postulate.
Science didn’t start with Galileo. It started centuries earlier in Cathedral schools that became universities, Oxford and Paris in particular. The study of falling bodies precedes Galileo by centuries and can be traced back to independent work of the Oxford Docators, Casali and Oreseme who plotted results of their work graphically. All clerics with many becoming bishops. Galileo didn’t even do the experiment himself but described the work of Casali.

Reply to  Robert B
March 16, 2016 6:28 pm

Science didn’t start with Galileo. It started centuries earlier in Cathedral schools that became universities, Oxford and Paris in particular.

Actually, no. It was Islamic Science that these guys purloined from Cordova, Spain and passed off as their own. Read The Making of Humanity by Robert Briffault, (1919), starting at the link I give and read for 20 pages. The first 2 or 3 pages are dullish then it gallops.
In short, while Europe was still in the Dark Ages and kings and queens slept in single-room barns with their animals and with a single kitchen fire with a hole in the middle of the roof, Islamic Science was bringing culture, science, mathematics, jurisprudence, medicine, astronomy, botany, civil engineering (their irrigation methods and fountains were not matched until the 1930s in the USA) and religious tolerance to a vacant, dumb, unclean, and unkempt Europe. They were doing trig and calculus on the streets of Cordova while European “intellectuals”were struggling with Euclid’s Fourth Principle. The Islamists (contrary to Cook’s ignorance) invented the scientific method, and produced a vast number of scientific papers which they freely translated into Latin for their visitors to take home. We still use their surgical tools and diagnostic pharmacopeia in our modern operating rooms and medicine, and their recordation of botanical genuses is considered the gold standard still (although Christians, too, absconded with these as their own in their rewriting of a stolen history).
If you’re a Muslim-hater you won’t want to hear this, but it also means your education was sub-standard, or you’re close-minded, or , you bought this sh*t wholesale in 1992 without investigating, although this author didn’t, and he is recounting its creation from the inside.
Briffault used the accounts of Christian monks and Jewish scribes still preserved in monasteries and synagogues for, now, over 1,200 years who made the pilgrimage to Cordova and brought back Islamic Science papers. The Arabs had laughed at the European scribes’ earth-centric Roman Catholic Ptolemaic view of the movement of the planets for centuries in Cordova. Briffault identifies the monk who brought the papers on the heliocentric view to Copernicus, and the papers on Islamic experiments with flight to Leonardo da Vinci. Copernicus was no hell before he got his mitts on the Arabic paper, preferring to stay in his Polish monastery praying and being a monk until he took a memorable trip to Italy in the 1400s, and nabbed the paper.
As for Cook, Galileo was not the real dissenter. That honor goes to Giordano Bruno, whom the Church has still not forgiven, although in the 1940s Bruno was deemed correct. Galileo did not want to undergo what Bruno did and so assented to house arrest. It was Al-Haytham who invented the scientific method, which Lord Monckton has asserted countless times here: http://harvardmagazine.com/2003/09/ibn-al-haytham-html
Briffault is not alone in describing Islamic Science. Joseph McCabe (1938) and others contributed to the history, all but removed from modern American education.

Reply to  MRW
March 17, 2016 12:47 am

This is the correct second link: http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-177.html

March 15, 2016 9:42 pm

I ask of all of you again, ( especially in this kind of conversation ) to tell us who and what time you are answering to them, It is really frustrating to follow this type of “communication” when we cannot tell who you are answering to. And no, I am not a moderator I am trying to learn on this site regarding climate .

Chris Wright
March 16, 2016 3:18 am

I watched the BBC Panorama program about this on Monday. There are indeed very strong parallels with climate change.
I was impressed by Dr Waney Squier.
I’m not an expert in this field, but I do see a serious problem with the triad theory. For a criminal conviction, or for good science, it seems clear to me that the triad is insufficient proof. It may well be that the symptoms could be caused by baby shaking. But, surely, there must also be proof that the symptoms could not have been due to other causes such as genetic defects. In the program it was shown that the baby’s skull damage was in fact caused by a genetic defect.
At the end of the program a senior scientist did agree with the idea of a wide-ranging scientific investigation of the whole question. Unfortunately, as we well know, inquiries set up by the Establishment can be so easily corrupted, particularly when an Establishment “consensus” is at stake.
As Christopher Booker has tirelessly reported over the years, there are huge problems with the UK’s (mostly secret) Family courts. There have been many appalling miscarriages of justice where the accused often don’t even have the right to make a statement in their defence. Many completely innocent families have been ripped apart, sometimes due to the concensus triad theory. Like climate change, our family courts are a national disgrace.

March 16, 2016 3:37 am

I believe it was Douglas Adams who correctly pointed out that falling over a steep cliff or out of an airplane, without a parachute, has never killed anyone. Rather, it is the “sudden stop” at the end that it is almost always fatal.
Similarly, it is incorrect to say “climate change is a fraud”. Because the climate is changing, and always has been changing.
Now the attempt to scare people by claiming that man-made CO2 causes catastrophic floods, tornadoes and blizzards is a fraud, because there is really no scientific proof of these claims. It is FUD-induced hysteria. (FUD=Fear,Uncertainty,Doubt)
So you should be saying “climate _scare_ is a fraud” to be (pedantically) correct.

Area Man
March 16, 2016 7:35 am

This can and should be resolved the way the now debunked “crazed glass” signature in arson investigations was.
That junk science was exposed when crazed glass was observed in multiple homes after a wildfire (i.e. known not to be arson).
In the same way, I suspect many physicians are actually aware of cases where the triad was observed yet the cause was known to be a fall or other non-shaking event. All it will take is one or perhaps a few such cases to come to light to debunk the certainty around the “triad” being 100% evidence of abuse.
That would require bravery and integrity on the part of only one or a few physicians. It will be interesting to see how much time will pass and how many trials will entertain testimony of “certainty” with respect to the triad having to result from abuse.
Interesting, but sad and disappointing.

Reply to  Area Man
March 17, 2016 1:10 pm

Area Man, 3/16/16 @ 7:35 am gets +1 for this:
I suspect many physicians are actually aware of cases where the triad was observed yet the cause was unknown.
In science, the ultimate test is always, in everyday terms, What are the odds?
Pseudoscience giveth; science taketh away.

March 16, 2016 7:54 pm

I had some personal experience with this matter, when my daughter was a few months old. Her mom was holding her after a change, and suddenly she let out a brief yelp sort of sound and went completely limp, turning sheet white within a few seconds. I took her and told mom to go to the phone in the kitchen and call 911, and then I went through several minutes of living hell, as I could not detect or provoke any sign of life . .
Eventually she “woke up”, maybe a minute before the ambulance arrived. They checked her out very briefly, and I said we would drive her to the hospital . . and they both reacted strangely. They told me something like; “You could . . “, and glanced at each other. We drove to the emergency room right away.
When we got there, we were treated very roughly and suspiciously . . now I know what was going on, but then it was like a twilight zone episode. Eventually I talked to her regular doctor and he explained a bit, and said he’d make a note in records for us . .l
I asked what he thought had happened with my daughter, and he said since it was the night after her last visit, and she had gotten vaccinated, it was probably a reaction to that. Said he’d seen this sort of thing before right after vaccinations. That was nearly thirty years ago, and I didn’t think much of it, then.

March 17, 2016 11:25 am

is this calculation only good in a vacuum?

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