Friday Funny: The neurobiology of “climate change denial”

Guest essay by John Ridgway

Much work has already been undertaken to establish the cognitive foundation for the irrationality of climate change denial.

Of particular note are the studies undertaken by Lewandowsky, Kahneman, Shapiro and O’Conner, identifying the many cognitive biases that invalidate arguments put forward by those who profess scepticism in the face of the scientific evidence. However, it is not until recently that neuroscientists have turned their attention to the subject of climate change science denial in order to determine whether there are any fundamental neurological indicators that may be used as predictors of such pathological thinking strategies.

Of particular interest is a recent paper1,“The neurobiology of climate change denial”, by Dr Rodriguez Azuela et al, of the Positano Behavioural and Cognitive Research Unit. By revealing significant neural pathologies, the paper promises to throw new light on the puzzling irrationality that appears so intransigent to those who would strive to engage the public’s support for climate change mitigation. In Dr Azuela’s own words:

“We were interested to see how the pattern of neural activity differed between climate change deniers and those who accept the scientific consensus. In particular, we looked for differences whilst they considered the evidence put forward for anthropogenic climate change. For this purpose, subjects who had declared varying degrees of scepticism were confronted with images totemic of climate change evidence and were asked to offer their personal assessment whilst undergoing functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI).”

The fMRI images, which are basically snapshots of the brain in action, revealed notable differences between the deniers and those who accepted the scientific consensus.

Dr Azuela says:

“Whilst there were no deterministic differences between the groups, there were clear statistical variances that suggest a characteristic neuropathology. In the case of the deniers, counter to the normal pattern of activity, significantly activated regions included the left caudate, bilateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) and para-hippocampal gyri. Activations in the putamen and the globus pallidus were significant at p<0.005 (uncorrected), but no activation was found in the nucleus accumbens.”

To the layman, the significance of such variances is obscure. However, to the neuroscientist the coloured patterns on an fMRI are as revealing as any lie detector. As Dr Azuela explains:

“Curiosity levels modulate activation in such memory-related areas, so these results indicate a significantly reduced level of the curiosity one would normally associate with deferred judgment ideation.”

In other words, the deniers were simply unreceptive to the evidence presented and, instead, were activating brain regions associated with memory recall in order to entrench their preconceived ideas. These findings are in keeping with the psychologists’ concept of the availability heuristic, a cognitive bias in which new evidence is too readily rejected in favour of experiences that carry personal, emotional salience.

Such revelations should come as no surprise to those who have made it their business to study the logic employed by climate change deniers. However, other results were perhaps more surprising. Dr Azuela again:

“Of more concern, however, were the modulations of activity found within the orbital frontal cortex, insula, anterior and posterior cingulate, amygdala and anterior superior temporal gyrus, since they demonstrated a statistical alignment with the functional neuroanatomy of psychopathy.”

But before you choose to accuse all climate change deniers of being psychopaths, Dr Azuela has a word of warning:

“It would be quite wrong to label climate change deniers as psychopaths based upon the results of this study. Psychopathy exists as a spectrum of human behaviour; in this instance the fMRI results simply indicate an unusually low paralimbic reaction to a perceived threat.”

In other words, the climate science deniers aren’t nut jobs after all—they just don’t care enough. But I’ll leave the final word to Dr Azuela:

“In reality, studies2 have shown that confirmation bias poses the greatest challenge to cognitive performance. Those that suffer this bias will accept what they read unquestioningly, whilst others remain instinctively suspicious. Doubt should have kicked in at the suggestion that Positano has a Behavioural and Cognitive Research Unit. However, if you still failed to recognize the inauthenticity of this article, perhaps you should now be questioning any faith you might have had in the scientific consensus.”


References:

1 Azuela, R., Ho, M.T., Malaxic, T., Bernstein, F., (2018), “The neurobiology of climate change denial”, Journal of Environmental and Economic Studies, Issue 16[2].

2 Westen, D.; Blagov, P. S.; Harenski, K.; Kilts, C.; Hamann, S., (2006), “Neural bases of motivated reasoning: An fMRI study of emotional constraints on partisan political judgment in the 2004 U.S. presidential election”, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 18 (11).

NOTE: John Ridgway, says this about the essay originally published at CliScep.

It was not my intention to embarrass anyone into accidentally revealing that they were fooled by this article. So, to help prevent a recurrence, may I make it clear that this article is a spoof. I wrote it so that readers may personally experience confirmation bias before being pointed in the direction of a scientific study on that subject (reference 2).

The Azuela paper (reference 1) does not exist. However, in the interests of authenticity, I strove to ensure that the neurological references were sound. For example, curiosity does indeed modulate the activation of memory-related brain centres, as listed. Furthermore, psychopathy is indeed characterised by aberrant activity within the centres listed. The rest was just my wicked deceit.

I apologise for any embarrassment caused, but I think the plausibility of the article, such that it has any, is a testimony to the wealth of nonsense that can be found out there.

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Sunsettommy

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

Isn’t his name John Ridgway? The guy who wrote about the precautionary principle?

Now I’ve read the article, I agree with sunsettommy.

Sunsettommy

I laughed because it was too absurd for me to be fooled, but wonder how many will fall for it.

Sadly, I fell for it. When has a high degree of absurdity been any sort of signal of spoofery? Climate alarmists do it all the time, and they don’t include disclaimers. That’s sort of scary.

Felix

The Lew, Naomi and Cook Show, et al, has gotten so absurd, that the parody was sadly plausible.

simple-touriste

Naomi: correlation is not causation, but small p-value indicates causation.

Greg

As our host noted several years ago, climate “science” and surrounding propaganda is BEYOND PARODY.

texasjimbrock

Well, I was open to the concept but noted that it had no comparison to a believer’s brain while being faced with evidence contrary to agw.

MarkW

Who will fall for it?
Only those who want to.

HotScot

MarkW

One of the benefits of ignorance, is that one skips straight to the comments to understand the article.

Another benefit of ignorance is that I couldn’t fall for it because it looks like every other scientific paper I have ever read, absolute bollox.

oeman50

I thought it was a legit paper, but I did not believe it because my skeptic brain rejected it….

Robert B

How quickly we forget
Glaciers, gender, and science: A feminist glaciology framework for global environmental change research
Mark Carey
University of Oregon, USA
carey@uoregon.edu
, M. Jackson1, Alessandro Antonello1, Jaclyn Rushing1
Progress in Human Geography, Volume: 40 issue: 6, page(s): 770-793

Bill Powers

I had him at “…identifying the many cognitive biases that invalidate arguments put forward by those who profess scepticism in the face of the scientific evidence.”
As it means that skeptics (aka “Deniers) adhere to the scientific method and don’t follow the herd.
But your question of how many fall for it, accelerates generationally. With Millennial Public School students acceptance of majority consensus over scientific skepticism in the 80th percentile.

rocketscientist

I’ve been to Positano and I can assure you there is no Behavioral and Cognitive Research Unit.

Robert B
Greg Cavanagh

I believed it was a real study, it is exactly what Lewandowsky believes himself, so if he wrote such a study and published it, it would look like this.

I was confused by the last quoted paragraph after the introduction “In other words”. I read that several times before coming to the conclusion that it was a parody, but I was not 100% sure I interpreted it correctly.

Thanks for clarifying.

Brian R

If Lowenbrau had written the paper he wouldn’t have given the cavit of not calling deniers Psychopaths. He would have called them Psychopaths in the title.

DrSamHerman

Brian,

I am not even sure he knows what the true psychiatric definition of a psychopath is. It seems to this academic crowd to be a catch-all term for anyone whose input does not match their confirmation bias.

Latitude

LOL…….NO……the idiots brains are having to work harder to justify it

Mike M.

This is your brain –

This is your brain going in circles chasing its imaginary tail –

HotScot

Latitude

Whoa!

I’m an idiot and I didn’t fall for it.

Nothing wrong with a genuine idiot.

Ticowboy

Should be labelled ‘Normal Paranoid Brain’

Mike M

Paranormoid brain!

Jere Krischel

The thing that popped out instantly was that they could have written the exact same study, labeling the left brain as “climate alarmist” and the right brain as “normal” 🙂

The a priori assumption that something is “normal” (regardless of what direction), is an error of imagination.

DrSamHerman

Use of the term “normal” in psychiatry and psychology (as well as other social sciences) is basic sophistry. It means “anything else we can’t imagine”.

When my residents or fellows or graduate students used the term “normal” in describing their research or clinical endeavors to me, my first question was, “Define normal?” A sort of blank stare, much like the androids in the classic Star Trek episode “I, Mudd” would come over them followed by an insistence that normal was anything lacking a defined pathology.

Diagnosis or reasoning by exclusion is shoddy and unsustainable.

Tom Halla

Not quite as heavyhanded a hoax as “The Conceptual Penis as Social Construct”.

Hugs

Hermeneutics of the quantum gravity may be used to deconstruct this brilliant work.

My heart stopped for a second when I thought this was a real work, but then again, there’s a fine line between Lew and fake.

MarkW

What about feminist glaciers?

HotScot

MarkW

The mind boggles. Suggest anything feminine is frigid, and the entire feminist movement will be down on one in a heartbeat, no, noooooo, not that way!

Actually, that’s not a bad idea. We should encourage the alarmist concept of feminism being a negative and we’ll recruit half the planet in short order.

Or is that just the Dick Dastardly within me?

Rud Istvan

My favorite along those lines was ‘Feminist Glaciology’—except it was intended as a serious paper, not a hoax. The intention sufficed for hoax ridicule. IIRC, WUWT covered it a while back.

Please let this spoof be a one-time event. I don’t relish being exposed to this level of consternation again.

Rud Istvan

BJ, I think the opposite. After sunlight, the best disinfectant is ridicule. No only because ridicule always ends with sunlight coming in.
You dont want to be caught out again, take a gander at my ebook The Arts of Truth. One conceptual chapter, six illustartive category chapters, then a penultimate chapter illustrating the whole thing as a climate chapter ‘proofed’ by Richard Lindzen himself. Cheap on Amazon Kindle, a bit more expensive at iBooks.

Cameron Kuhns

They mislabeled the denier brain. It should be labeled Climate Activist Brain.

Craig W

“Climate Deniers” are cool thinkers & level headed.

Mike M.

Or just very bored by now.

Al Montgomery

THINKERS being the key word!!

Thanks for the last note about satire.
I was about to break off and post a comment.
Phrenology did come to mind.
🙂

Edwin

The only folks that are nuts in this study are the so called scientists doing with work. If I don’t perceive something as a threat based on my cumulative knowledge, study and experience then why would I react to something somebody else is trying to tell me I must fear. Especially when what I have been told about that something to date has been questionable or false. I can see someone using this as an excuse to send us all off to the re-education farms.

jorgekafkazar

Perhaps a re-reading of the entire article will answer all your comments.

Thanks for the disclaimer, but I do read The Onion sometimes so I already had my BS detector at max.

Mike M.

The difference is between a brain of a rational human bored to tears hearing the same idiotic climate lies over and over again versus that of a sheep scared out of its wits that earth might burn up any second now.

Hivemind

Personally, I think of Chicken Little.

JohnWho

While many “deniers” will discover that the article is a spoof, many of the believers, since it confirms their bias, will merrily accept it as truth.

And that, of course, will confirm what we know: the real folks ignoring the science are the ones claiming it is settled.

Bob

Oh, after showing that my brain doesn’t properly light up, he doesn’t want to insult me.

Climate change deniers? Right out of the box you know this is psuedoscience just on the term.

The only “denial” I have is that these clowns cannot control the climate and, hence, ergo and therefore do not know how to change the climate. So, I suppose I deny their ability.

As for my brain not lighting up is that they put me to sleep.

J Mac

I think, therefor I am….. skeptical!

HotScot

J Mac

I’m sceptical, therefore I think.

Cuts out the middle man.

Felix

Whose brain would you rather have, Freeman Dyson’s or Michael Mann’s? Ivar Giaever’s or Gavin Schmidt’s? Will Happer’s or James Hansen’s? Michael Crichton’s (when alive) or Naomi Oreskes’? William Gray’s (when alive) or Kevin Trenberth’s? Richard Lindzen’s or Phil Jones’?

Jeffrey
Felix

Eyegore over Algore any day!

Retired_Engineer_Jim

Nicely put.

HotScot

Felix

My own thanks.

It might not be much, but it’s mine.

Felix

Maybe I should have said Judith Curry’s or Naomi Oreskes.

Curry was hounded out of academia for being a scientist, while anti-historian Oreskes was rewarded by elevation to the Harvard faculty for d@nying the scientific method.

J Mac

Right brain, left brain? This ain’t no thinking thing!
(This Ain’t) No Thinking Thing – Trace Adkins
https://youtu.be/cerrfodYTCo

Joel Snider

And again, I have to ask, what behavioral traits, presumptions, predeterminations, and personality disorders have to be in place for one to be a warmist?
I would suggest that one of the first is a lack of self-awareness.

James Clarke

“Of particular note are the studies undertaken by Lewandowsky, …”

That’s when I thought it was a spoof!

eyesonu

That’s when I believed it!

DrTorch

It’s telling that such a ridiculous topic would generate this study. The inflammatory language used shows that this is not a science article, but propaganda.

jorgekafkazar

For those unfamiliar with the sprawling metropolis that is Positano, Italy, here’s a link to a photo. Or maybe the photo, itself. Who knows what might happen?

http://www.lubrenseboats.com/images/public/articles/gallery/big/positano-village-amalfi-coast-campania-italy-1800x2880_1407143744.jpg

The Behavioural and Cognitive Research Unit is located above the outstanding white building 7/8 of the way up the slope, in the green area about a centimeter above the building itself.

Wharfplank

It is an interesting time when satire and truth are indistinguishable…

Duncan Smith

This is what believers think den!ers brain’s really look like:
comment image

HotScot

Duncan Smith

Heyyyyyyy!

You stole my driving licence photograph!

🙂

Suggestion for improvement for future hoaxes: add at least 10 more footnote citations. Anyone with any experience wouldn’t dare submit a paper to any social science journal with only two references. The footnotes are a signaling mechanism to reviewers that the author is diligent and correctly following the relevant party line.

As soon as I saw that the denier had GREEN in his/her brain, I smelled a rat. Besides, I don’t believe in MRI’s.

tom0mason

The last scan I had they informed me that my brain showed some abnormalities. Of course I denied that they had the ‘science’ to make such a classification.

Tom in Florida

I had a brain scan once, they told me it was negative.

Retired_Engineer_Jim

I, too, had a brain scan once. The doctor said that my brain was perfect. I didn’t disagree, and I remind my wife of those results on a regular basis.

“They told me it was negative.” Now THAT’S funny.

jorgekafkazar

I had a brain scan, too, but they didn’t find anything.

Whew!, what a relief. This article had me going. I was about to turn its “logic” back on itself, if the author had not revealed that it was a spoof.

cross-posted comment from Cli-scep:

Nice spoof. However, the mainstream scientific consensus (per AR5), doesn’t support that which the public believes is the consensus, per non-mainstream scientists such as Hansen, i.e. a high probability of near-term (a few decades) catastrophe, absent major emissions cuts. Hence for such a study you’d be pushed to find a group out of the public who ‘accepted the scientific consensus’, given that they don’t even know what this actually is. Similarly, those that reject catastrophe aren’t rejecting mainstream science, so you might also be pushed to find a group of supposed ‘deniers’ from the public too, if you make ‘mainstream science’ your key criteria.

Incidentally, it’s likely that there’s no such condition as denialism, at least as it is framed in the literature. And certainly the supposed tests for it are deeply flawed, essentially just giving academic legitimization for anyone to call out any group they don’t agree with as ‘deniers’. There will at one end of a spectrum of cultural resistance be an extreme fringe that fits some of the touted behaviors. But as this reaction is itself cultural value dependent, it is not a behavior to do with rejection of science as such. Different cultural groups tend on average to be more accepting of science that aligns to their values, and more resistive of the science that challenges their values.
https://judithcurry.com/2016/04/21/the-denialism-frame/

Andrew Cooke

I laughed so hard I cried. Thank you for the humor.

Now for the scary part. Until I read the last part, I thought this was real. I have a great B.S. detector, but this fits the thought processes on the left so well that it seemed real.

Onward

Sara

I read that. I was concerned because I like butterflies, as long as they don’t land on me, and while I appreciate the stray calico bringing me gifts of dead animals, I don’t want to hurt her feelings by turning her down.
Then I realized that a Door had been opened, and suddenly, I could see again!

I can see! I can see! Thank you , Gaia! I can see! I have feet, too.!

Retired_Engineer_Jim

I checked that date after the first sentence. At least you mentioned variability – good on you.

Rob Dawg

Spoof or not the brain scans make sense. The rational skeptic brain is calm, cool, collected… unafraid. The normal brain is excitable, overheating, irrational and scared of anything being said.

GeeJam

Bit like the diversionary tactic of banning ‘plastic straws’ and ‘cotton buds’ to save the planet.

R.S. Brown
The Reverend Badger

The money wasted on stuff like this would be better spent on some real experiments. Don’t forget “If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong”.

My first suggestion would be further work concerning the gravito-thermal postulations of Loschmidt. This needs clearing up once and foreall as unfortunately even Richard Feynman (if he were alive today) would be unable to accept Antony’s word on it. And I certainly don’t.

Anybody who opposes an experiment is NOT A SCIENTIST!

desitter

Nobody spent a cent for this “study”.
Just read the note

HotScot

desitter

“……the gravito-thermal postulations of Loschmidt.”

I suspect he got it.

Ken Mitchell

I was ready to call “Bullshit!” on the article —- right up until it was revealed as a hoax. THAT part I believe!

HotScot

Ken Mitchell

Hah!

Ve leftist superior beings haf recruited another unvitting minion into ze midst of our conspiracy.

Ve ver double bluffing.

Mwahahahaha!

Ken Mitchell

You guys need to republish Isaac Asimov’s “article” about the endochronic properties of resublimated thiotimoline.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiotimoline

Rud Istvan

I thoroughly enjoyed Ridgeway’s ‘serious paper’ over at Cliscep. Hands down the second best short science spoof ever. Glad to see it getting much broader exposure via WUWT. Well spotted.

For cogniscenti, IMO the very best of the genre is the paper ‘Quantum Gravity Treatment of the Angel Density Problem’ in Annals of Improbable Research 7(3): 5-7 May 2001. Readily available via google-fu.
Annals is a quite ‘serious’ journal, published by the same Harvard brainiacs who bring us the annual webcast Ig Nobel awards ceremony honoring the years ‘most insignificant’ published science papers. Frequently judged by actual Harvard and MIT Nobelists. Just checked on google—the three most recent Ig Nobel ceremonies are available on line as top hits. Lasr year’s was captioned “the 27th first Ig Nobel Awards for 2017”. Enjoy.

Trevor

I think that a few of you need a check-up with Dr Azuela , the optometrist !
Anthony Watts calls him RIDWAY
Rud Istvan calls him RIDGEWAY
The Author calls himself RIDGWAY………..and I don’t think that THAT was the spoof !

MarkW

I’m reminded of the Soviets and their habit of putting anyone who disagreed with them into insane asylums.

HotScot

MarkW

You’re trying to tell me I’m not posting this from a global asylum that believes in AGW?

Pull the other one mate, it’s got bells on it.

Isn’t that anybody that disagrees with Communism? Or in this case, AGW. Just ask Uncle Joe , chairman Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, and the most revered Dear Leader. I think one of the Kennedy’s spoke fondly of the regime in NOKO as the only way to save the planet. And we see what a sterling success Venezuela is.

MarkW

“are as revealing as any lie detector.”

There’s your problem right there.

Bear

The problem with spoofs like this are that they seem realistic given the idiocy of leftist like Lewandowsky. Of course the CAGW crowd wouldn’t have thought to do the inverse and present CAGW believers with counter evidence (how could they? They don’t believe there is counter evidence). Same goes with the rest of their pseudo scientific papers.

How about maybe we’ve seen all there stuff before, it isn’t new to us, and we are not emotionally fired up by lies.

AndyE

This aberrant, puzzling behaviour, undoubtedly of neuro-biological origin, is hopefully treatable. It may, however, necessitate a period of intensive care in a mental institution. Drug manufacturers, in close collaboration with psychologists, are now researching promising avenues for effective medication.

HotScot

AndyE

Hey man…….chill.

Puff on this spliff dude, and the world will be a better place.

Look, a unicorn, and it’s running so slowly I can touch it.

Whaddya mean that’s not a unicorn horn I’m touching?!!

Roger Knights

Anthony Standen, Science is a Sacred Cow [1950], 205-06:

“And yet, what if the average itself were wrong? … Is it not plausible, and even likely, that most of us have the wrong kind of brain wave?”

Don Healy

Have they conducted a similar on lemmings?

Jonathan Griggs

This was an interesting article to read as I have been dealing with a similar argument around confirmation bias in another area of interest of mine. The accusation goes something like this:

You are not willing to concede any ground to the other side and are therefore you are closed minded about the area of discussion. This makes you a bad person because you are not willing to change your opinion on the subject even with new evidence or arguments.

My response to this is:

I used to be curious, I spent years being curious. In fact I was on the other side of the argument for many of those years. Something always seemed out of place or just wrong but I couldn’t quite figure it out, until one day it hit me. Then I spent several more years trying to reason with my old group, the believers, attempting to find a middle ground and put to rest the areas that bothered me the most. All I received for my troubles were insults, slander, rude behavior, cliched arguments and what can only be described as bullschist responses.

I did not become entrenched in my skepticism overnight, it took years to grow on me. Every time I would try to engage a believer and got yelled down or what have you, I cemented my position a little further. A person can only be treated like a monster or an outcast and remain nice and calm for so long. Now, I no longer go out of my way to engage “believers”. If the subject is brought up I have a succinct list of around 10 reasons why I can no longer trust the majority of claims around the issue, in this case climate science, and if after they hear those reasons they do not get curious and perform their own research then I can’t help them. You can lead a horse to water…

In no particular order and off the top of my head:
1. The earth has been warmer in the past and had higher levels of CO2 without any catastrophes to speak of
2. The warming from the first part of the 20th century is almost identical to the warming of the latter half, but the first was all natural and the second was all/mostly human. How does that make any sense, did nature just give up or something?
3. CO2 is not the most prevalent or the strongest greenhouse gas
4. nearly all of the funding goes to pro-AGW scientists, why is that? In science we are supposed to investigate all possible causes, but we are deliberately saying no, we can’t do that. Looking beyond the current answers is dangerous and a waste of time and money. If that doesn’t set off alarm bells in your head then you are too dense to understand why it is a problem.
5. Consensus means jack-all in science. The history books are littered with examples of people completely turning the beliefs of their day on their heads. That is the whole point in science.
6. Why do the scientists feel the need to modify/correct the data? and why do the corrections almost always make the situation look worse than before? Again, alarm bells.
7. Even if you did accept the premise, the ROI on trying to avoid creating CO2 is not there. Point to Dr. Monckton’s (spelling?) study on this. It is better to adapt as time goes than to worry about trying to prevent something we know so very little about ad cannot even model correctly.
8. Speaking of models, why are there so many why are they all so friggin wrong, and why do we keep spending money making more when they have proven so utterly useless to date in this area. (models are useful in other scientific endeavors #notallmodels)
9. When has large scale government interference in the economy done anything beneficial? Read Thomas Sowell’s description of the great depression and the New Deal.

I have to run to a meeting so can’t think of others. But honestly, if I speak this list to a person and they are still not curious why some of these things are happening, I can’t help them and they are welcome to remain ignorant.

Reed Coray

Add to the list: CO2 is NOT a heat-trapping gas for the simple reason that heat cannot be trapped. For two objects in thermal contact, thermal energy (heat) always moves from the higher-temperature object to the lower-temperature object. No substance known to man can or will “trap” (i.e., keep) the thermal energy in the higher-temperature object.

EternalOptimist

I had a brain scan once, as part of an experiment. The experiment was to mate the smartest man in my city with the most beautiful woman. When I was born, they scanned me and said ‘congratulations…you have the looks of your father’
its been downhill ever since

n.n

Climate is chaotic (i.e. observable and reproducible inside a limited frame of reference a.k.a. scientific frame of reference). Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is progressive (i.e. monotonic).

That said, I wonder how this observation compares to the neurobiology of evolution (e.g. life process) denial, including selective-child, one-child, recycled-child, etc.

David Walton

Regarding the spoof, it is really quite plausible. How is it the real clowns like these manage to draw a salary? Oh wait, my bad, they are “academics.”

Rud Istvan

Apologies if this ends up sort of a double post. Original disappeared hours ago after a one word misspelling edit. [Lesson, do NOT switch internet stuff before edit times out.] So to paraphrase the previous comment missive:
Thoroughly enjoyed this ‘science paper’ spoof over at CliScep. Glad it now has much wider exposure at WUWT, replete with AW’s brilliant spoof figure watermark. IMO second best ever.

In my opinion the best ever of this genre was the ‘brilliant’ paper, ‘Quantum Gravity Treatment of the Angel Density Problem’, published May 2001 in the journal ‘Annals of Improbable Research’ 7(3): 5-7. Readily available in many (variously now illustrated) forms via google fu.

For science sarcasm cognoscenti like Kip Hansen and David Middleton here at WUWT, Annals is a Harvard ‘research’ publication produced by the same Harvard brainiacs that produce the annual (webcast from historic Sanders Theater) Ig Nobel awards ceremony for the best peer reviewed papers ‘that make you laugh, then think’. Awards from actual Harvard (and maybe MIT) actual Nobelists. Award includes a statue, a paper certificate, and for 2017 $10 trillion dollars. Alas, Zimbabwe dollars. Ceremony was themed UNCERTAINTY (maybe) (so particularly climte responsive) is easily googled by its title ‘27th first annual Ig Nobels 2017’. Enjoy.