Analyzing Studies

Just Facts

For issues that are really important, you need to learn how to separate credible studies from unreliable ones.

Script / Documentation

Do you want to live in a world of self-delusion where you make decisions that hurt yourself and others? Have we got a plan for you!

Step 1: Blindly accept any study that confirms your preexisting views.

Step 2: Reject any study that challenges what you already believe.

Or you can watch and apply the new “Analyzing Studies” video series from Just Facts Academy to help you separate the credible studies from the trashy ones.

We know that no one has the time to truly analyze every study they hear about. But for issues that are really important, you need to know how to sort through the junk studies that infest your media feeds.

So let’s build on the Standards of Credibility and lift the curtain on studies.

First and foremost, don’t be fooled by trite propaganda masquerading as studies.

Journalists,[1] commentators,[2] and so-called fact-checkers[3] often treat the opinions of selected “experts” as if they were scientific studies, and politicians use the phrase “science says” like it magically turns mere claims into facts.[4]

Such misuse of the word “science” has been a longstanding problem. As the renowned physicist Richard Feynman remarked more than half a century ago, “When someone says, ‘Science teaches such and such,’ he is using the word incorrectly.” When people discuss actual science, they don’t “say science has shown”—but “this experiment, this effect, has shown.”[5]

Another good way to be misled is to place too much trust in your own common sense. That’s why Einstein defined common sense as a collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.[6]

Another trap to avoid is basing your views on personal anecdotes. People sometimes defy the odds, like your great uncle who lived to the age of 95 even though he smoked like he was on fire and drank like he was trying to put it out.

And if you think you can understand the issue of climate change by poking your head outside your window,[7] you might want to consider there are “huge differences” in climate trends around the world,[8] and the entire United States covers only 1.9% of the world’s surface area.[9]

Likewise, don’t let your go-to news source fool you. There are nearly 8 billion people in the world,[10] and the stories chosen by your favorite media outlets may not accurately represent the big picture.[11] As one academic book explains:

People like stories—math and numbers and statistics not so much. Our preference for stories over numbers means that we can often be convinced of something by a string of stories, even if they aren’t representative of the whole.[12]

Another great way to be a sucker is to believe that the peer-review process used by most scholarly journals “ensures” studies “are sound.”[13] This naive notion is exploded by reams of facts and candid statements from people involved in this process.[14] Let’s look at a few.

The journal Nature published a study that attempted to confirm the findings of 53 prominent peer-reviewed papers about cancer drugs. Scientists were unable to reproduce 89% of these results, despite the fact that “when findings could not be reproduced,” an “attempt was made to contact the original authors” and “repeat experiments under the authors’ direction.”[15]

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a “detailed review“ of “2,047 biomedical and life-science research articles” that have been retracted. It found that “21% of retractions were attributable to error,” and 67% were due to misconduct.[16]

Wait a second. How can this happen? Well, one main reason is explained by Phil Hurst, a publisher for the Royal Society.[17] He wrote that:

traditional peer review is confidential, with research papers scrutinized by a small number of anonymous experts. Although publishers are vigilant, this secrecy provides the opportunity for fraud.[18]

Likewise, Austin L. Hughes, a professor of biological sciences, wrote that:

the high confidence in funding and peer-review panels should seem misplaced to anyone who has served on these panels and witnessed the extent to which preconceived notions, personal vendettas, and the like can torpedo even the best proposals.[19]

Does this sound like the kind of system you want to stake your life on?

So, how can you determine a study’s credibility? I’m glad you asked.

In the upcoming videos, we’re going to give you the tools you need. Here’s just some of the topics we’ll be covering:

  • Differentiating correlation from causation
  • Omitted variable bias
  • Included variable bias
  • Randomized controlled trials
  • Observational studies
  • Laboratory & simulation studies
  • Confidence intervals
  • Cherry-picking & overgeneralization

Don’t worry. This is not as hard as it might seem. In fact, the strongest studies are often the most straightforward.

So stay tuned to Just Facts Academy, and while you’re waiting, review our previous videos so you can research like a genius.


[1] Article: “Scientists Believe Coronavirus Originated in Wild Animal Markets — and They Want the Chinese Government to Shut Them Down.” By Sophie Lewis. CBS News, February 7, 2020. <>

Experts say meat sold at wild animal markets in Wuhan is likely the culprit for the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus, which has so far killed more than 630 people and infected more than 31,000 globally. Similar viruses will continue to pop up regularly unless the root of the problem is addressed, scientists say.

“I want the wild animal markets closed,” infectious disease expert Dr. Ian Lipkin told CBS News on Wednesday.

Lipkin is an epidemiologist from Columbia University, currently advising authorities in China. He said the coronavirus epidemic is “very close” to becoming a pandemic. …

“We have to shut these wild animal markets,” Lipkin stressed. “If we don’t do that, we will see one of these emerging infectious diseases every couple of years.”

[2] Commentary: “Marco Rubio Demanded People Look at the Science on Abortion. So We Did.” By Philip Bump. Washington Post, May 15, 2014. <>

On the question of when life begins, then, the scientific experts we spoke with didn’t offer any consensus.

“Life” is something of a philosophical question, making Rubio’s dependence on a scientific argument — which, it hardly bears mentioning, is an argument about abortion — politically tricky.

NOTE: For the actual facts of this matter, see Just Facts’ research.

[3] Article: “Clinton: Undocumented Workers Pay More Than Trump in Federal Income Taxes.” By Lauren Carroll. October 27, 2016. <>

There is no official count of undocumented workers who pay federal income taxes. But Clinton’s claim — that half of all undocumented workers pay federal income taxes — is an educated assumption that many experts use, said Kim Rueben, senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

“As far as we can vet it, it is true,” Rueben said. …

While there is no official figure, experts estimate that about half of all undocumented workers pay federal income taxes, if not more.

NOTE: For the actual facts of this matter, see Just Facts’ research.

[4] Webpage: “Environment and Climate Change.” Congressman Jared Huffman (D–CA). Accessed November 3, 2023 at <>

Science says that we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground to protect the planet for future generations, which is why I introduced the ‘Keep It in the Ground Act’ to reduce carbon emissions and break our nation’s addiction to fossil fuels by permanently barring new fossil fuel leases on all federal public lands and in federal waters.

NOTE: For the actual facts of this matter, see Just Facts’ research.

[5] Lecture: “What is Science?” By Richard Feynman. Presented at the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the National Science Teachers Association, 1966. <>

When someone says, “Science teaches such and such,” he is using the word incorrectly. Science doesn’t teach anything; experience teaches it. If they say to you, “Science has shown such and such,” you might ask, “How does science show it? How did the scientists find out? How? What? Where?”

It should not be “science has shown” but “this experiment, this effect, has shown.” And you have as much right as anyone else, upon hearing about the experiments—but be patient and listen to all the evidence—to judge whether a sensible conclusion has been arrived at.

[6] Book: The Universe and Dr. Einstein. By Lincoln Barnett. Forward written by Albert Einstein. Dover Publications, 1948.

Pages 57–58:

At first meeting these facts are difficult to digest but that is simply because classical physics assumed, unjustifiably, that an object preserves the same dimensions whether it is in motion or at rest and that a clock keeps the same rhythm in motion and at rest. Common sense dictates that this must be so. But as Einstein has pointed out, common sense is actually nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down in the mind prior to the age of eighteen. Every new idea one encounters in later years must combat this accretion of “self-evident” concepts. And it is because of Einstein’s unwillingness ever to accept any unproven principle as self-evident that he was able to penetrate closer to the underlying realities of nature than any scientist before him.

NOTE: The above is commonly quoted and paraphrased as, “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”

[7] Article: “Virginians’ Attitudes About Global Warming Hinge on Local Weather.” By Brevy Cannon. University of Virginia, October 22, 2008. <>

The survey asked Virginians to identify the primary factor underlying their beliefs about climate change. Among the 75 percent of Virginians who do believe the earth is warming, one in four cited personal experience as the top reason. The next most popular reasons were melting glaciers and polar ice (21 percent), media coverage (14 percent) and changing weather patterns or strong storms (13 percent)—another type of personal experience of the weather.

Among the 13 percent of Virginians who do not believe the Earth is warming, the top reason given was also personal experience of the weather, suggesting that weather is in the eye of the beholder.

Tied for the top answer among Virginia’s global warming disbelievers was the notion that natural patterns explain any fluctuations in temperature.

[8] Climategate Document 988466058.

From: tom crowley† <tom@…>

Subject: Re: Low Frequency signals in Proxy temperatures:

Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2001 09:54:18 -0500 …

look at the instrumental record! there are huge differences between different regions—Alaska has warmed substantially while eastern North America cooled after the 1950s. locking onto local records, no matter how beautiful, can lead to serious errors.


  • † Crowley was a reviewer of the chapter about proxies in the 2007 IPCC report. [Curriculum Vitae: Thomas John Crowley, January 2009. <>. “Reviewer, Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Chapter on Paleoclimatology (April, 2005)”]
  • For more facts about differing climate trends around the world, see Just Facts’ research on this issue.

[9] Calculated with data from:

a) Webpage: “Area Country Comparison to the World.” The World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed February 03, 2016 at <>

b) Webpage: “State Area Measurements and Internal Point Coordinates.” U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed February 03, 2016 at <>

NOTE: An Excel file containing the data and calculations is available upon request.

[10] Report: “World Population Prospects 2022: Summary of Results.” United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2022. <>

Page 3: “The global human population will reach 8.0 billion in mid-November 2022 from an estimated 2.5 billion people in 1950, adding 1 billion people since 2010 and 2 billion since 1998.”

[11] For a prime example of how media outlets create misleading impressions by reporting selected stories, see this research from Just Facts.

[12] Book: Navigating the News: A Political Media User’s Guide. By Michael K. Baranowski. Praeger, 2013.

Pages 70–71:

People like stories—math and numbers and statistics not so much. Partly, this is because we use language all the time, and so it’s easier for us to grasp stories (at least simple stories) than it is to understand numerical data. But it’s also because numbers, by themselves, generally lack the emotional content that draws us in and helps us to remember. Our preference for stories is why both politicians and the media covering them think in terms of crafting a narrative far more often than they consider analyzing the data (at least for public consumption). …

There are often numbers behind the political stories we’re told, but very few of us bother to take a good hard look at them. One reason for this is that figuring out whether the numbers support a claim isn’t always an easy thing to do. …

What this means is that politicians and pundits can more easily mislead us because they know how difficult it can be to check the numbers. …

But outright lies are problematic because getting caught in one can lead to a lot of negative publicity. A more common way our distaste for numbers is used against us is through data manipulation. Manipulating data isn’t exactly lying—it’s more like finding ways of highlighting things that support your viewpoint. And so the worst you can usually say about someone who does it is that they’re basing their conclusions on questionable assumptions or using an inappropriate method of analysis. This isn’t exactly the sort of stirring denunciation that will grab headlines or make much of an impact on voters.

Our preference for stories over numbers means that we can often be convinced of something by a string of stories, even if they aren’t representative of the whole.

[13] Commentary: “Scott Pruitt’s Attack on Science Would Paralyze the E.P.A.” By Gina McCarthy and Janet McCabe. New York Times, March 26, 2018. <>

“Opponents of the agency and of mainstream climate science call these studies ‘secret science.’ But that’s simply not true. Peer review ensures that the analytic methodologies underlying studies funded by the agency are sound.”

[14] See Just Facts’ research on this topic here.

[15] Paper: “Drug Development: Raise Standards for Preclinical Cancer Research.” by C. Glenn Begley and Lee M. Ellis. Nature, March 28, 2012. <>

The scientific community assumes that the claims in a preclinical study can be taken at face value — that although there might be some errors in detail, the main message of the paper can be relied on and the data will, for the most part, stand the test of time. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. …

Over the past decade, before pursuing a particular line of research, scientists (including C.G.B.) in the haematology and oncology department at the biotechnology firm Amgen in Thousand Oaks, California, tried to confirm published findings related to that work. Fifty-three papers were deemed ‘landmark’ studies…. Nevertheless, scientific findings were confirmed in only 6 (11%) cases. …

To address these concerns, when findings could not be reproduced, an attempt was made to contact the original authors, discuss the discrepant findings, exchange reagents and repeat experiments under the authors’ direction, occasionally even in the laboratory of the original investigator. ….

Some non-reproducible preclinical papers had spawned an entire field, with hundreds of secondary publications that expanded on elements of the original observation, but did not actually seek to confirm or falsify its fundamental basis. More troubling, some of the research has triggered a series of clinical studies — suggesting that many patients had subjected themselves to a trial of a regimen or agent that probably wouldn’t work.

[16] Paper: “Misconduct Accounts for the Majority of Retracted Scientific Publications.” By Ferric C. Fanga, R. Grant Steen, and Arturo Casadevall. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, October 16, 2012. <>

A detailed review of all 2,047 biomedical and life-science research articles indexed by PubMed as retracted on May 3, 2012 revealed that only 21.3% of retractions were attributable to error. In contrast, 67.4% of retractions were attributable to misconduct, including fraud or suspected fraud (43.4%), duplicate publication (14.2%), and plagiarism (9.8%). Incomplete, uninformative or misleading retraction announcements have led to a previous underestimation of the role of fraud in the ongoing retraction epidemic. The percentage of scientific articles retracted because of fraud has increased ∼10-fold since 1975.

[17] Interview: “What Is a Publisher Now? Phil Hurst, the Royal Society.” Ingenta, September 9, 2014. <>

In the week of the ALPSP Conference in London our latest What is a publisher now? interview is with Phil Hurst, Publisher at The Royal Society. In recent years The Royal Society, which is the world’s oldest scientific publisher has made multiple innovations in the way it publishes and distributes scientific content and Phil has been at the heart of that process.

[18] Article: “Transparency in Peer Review.” By Phil Hurst., September 8, 2017. <>

Finally, transparency has the potential to improve the quality of research and reduce research misconduct. Traditional peer review is confidential, with research papers scrutinised by a small number of anonymous experts. Although publishers are vigilant, this secrecy provides the opportunity for fraud.

[19] Article: “The Folly of Scientism.” By Austin L. Hughes. The New Atlantis, Fall 2012. <>

Austin L. Hughes is Carolina Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina. …

Second, the high confidence in funding and peer-review panels should seem misplaced to anyone who has served on these panels and witnessed the extent to which preconceived notions, personal vendettas, and the like can torpedo even the best proposals.

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November 18, 2023 6:13 am

For issues that are really important, you need to learn how to separate credible studies from unreliable ones.

And surely who authors them?

One example could be Friederike Otto.

“”Founded in 2015 by Dr. Friederike Otto and Dr. Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, World Weather Attribution (WWA) scientists quantify how climate change influences the intensity and likelihood”” [of truly alarming headlines]

Reply to  strativarius
November 18, 2023 6:27 am

It seems like WWA does a good job of white washing fake studies.

Reply to  Scissor
November 18, 2023 6:29 am

I would attribute that to…..

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Scissor
November 18, 2023 6:47 am

which it calls “Rapid attribution studies”

in religious circles known as “apologetics”

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Scissor
November 18, 2023 9:12 am

How can you say that? Friederike sincerely believes climate change is “costing thousands, perhaps millions, of deaths globally every single year”

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Dave Andrews
November 18, 2023 9:42 am

from that link

“Thanks to advances in weather observations and computer modelling-based research by Dr Otto and her team, they now have the data. Previously, climate predictions tended to be based on one model. Now, she and her team use hundreds, thousands of simulations of models – using supercomputers and individuals who lend their processing power.”

Models and supercomputers and thousands of simulations. Should be able to solve all of science’s mysteries that way. /sarc

Dave Andrews
Reply to  strativarius
November 18, 2023 9:03 am

Cut Frederike some slack and she’ll let you call her Fredi 🙂

Reply to  Dave Andrews
November 18, 2023 9:49 am

One was my grandmother’s was of a very strict fundamental religion. She abhorred females wearing jeans and pants in general asking something like “do they think they’re men?”

She would really be appalled today because the party of science believes a man can become a women just by throwing on a dress and applying some lipstick.

Reply to  strativarius
November 19, 2023 4:05 am

To add to that I watched a documentary about Field Marshall Friedrich Paulus who commanded and famously surrendered the German Army at Stalingrad. He ended up against Hitler and surrendered to avoid the senseless deaths of thousands of German soldiers. He said this:

Even when you think something appears clear, question it and do not rest. Doubt everything that appears to be beautiful and true. Always ask yourself: “What for?”. 

Don’t think that one thing alone is good; straight is not straight and neither is curved curved. If someone says a value is absolute, ask them quietly, “Why?”

Today’s truth may already lie tomorrow. Follow the river from where the torrent began. Isolated parts are not enough for you. Always ask yourself, “Since when?”

Look for the causes, unite and dissolve, dare to look behind the words. If someone says, “This is good (or bad),” ask quietly: “For whom?”

Reply to  sskinner
November 19, 2023 5:48 am

“…famously surrendered the German Army…”
should be
“…famously surrendered a German Army…” 

Joseph Zorzin
November 18, 2023 6:25 am

“Although publishers are vigilant…”

not too sure of that- some are- maybe most are…

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
November 18, 2023 6:30 am

They’re under pressure if they publish the wrong thing

November 18, 2023 6:31 am

“Step 1: Blindly accept any study that confirms your preexisting views.”

I am pretty sure your statement above is the operating principle for most of the people that have a sign in their front yard the reads, “In this house we believe in science.”

Of course, Richard Feynman understood which principle ACTUAL scientists should follow:

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.

Reply to  pillageidiot
November 18, 2023 10:37 am

“Step 1: Blindly accept any study that confirms your preexisting views.”
There must be a corollary: Any data that contradicts your own view, has to be immediately scrutinised with full attention. Reality allows only two options: Either you’re being lied to, or you urgently need to resolve the conflict in your obviously flawed world view. Either way, you are the wiser for it.
Once you insist on keeping your world view intact and without contradictions, every piece of data teaches you something. Believing too many contradictions, will eventually drive you mad, just look at the libtards around you.

Reply to  cilo
November 19, 2023 2:36 pm

Those signs are awful.

Reply to  pillageidiot
November 18, 2023 11:13 am

I have never seen one of those signs that says “In this house, we believe in the scientific method”

That tells me everything I need to know about the people living in the house. They believe what “scientists” they like tell them. That means they are low information patsy’s and pawns and I can sell them products they don’t need as long as they like me.

Joseph Zorzin
November 18, 2023 6:37 am

I don’t generally like these cartoon like videos to discuss complex topics- though this one was pretty good. I’ve seen a series made for forestry- and they really sucked. This cartoon methodology presumes the watcher is very, very unsophisticated so I suppose they’re OK for the many unsophisticated people out there- if they watch them and learn something. But I doubt many get watched. Almost nobody watched the forestry cartoon videos.

November 18, 2023 7:08 am

The video says 69% of retracted studies were retracted because of fraud. Since the vast majority of studies aren’t retracted, that actually understates the problem vastly.

A former editor of the very prestigious British Medical Journal (BMJ) has written an excellent article in which he points out that we should suspect fraud in ALL studies until proven otherwise.

You won’t have a career in academia unless you publish. That creates desperation. Journal editors are looking for novel findings that don’t upset apple carts. There’s no penalty for being wrong, and even if you’re actually fraudulent you probably won’t be caught. What the **** do you think is going to happen, as sure as day follows night? The poster boy for the fact that the system actually rewards fraud is our own dear Dr. Michael Mann. (He admitted he belongs in State Pen, by adverse inference when he avoided presenting evidence in his defamation suit against Dr. Tim Ball.)

The thing that gets up my nose is that you can’t even trust studies that are supposedly replicated. As John Ioannidis points out, “Claimed Research Findings May Often Be Simply Accurate Measures of the Prevailing Bias”. link

Reply to  commieBob
November 18, 2023 7:42 am

what is the status of Mann’s legal case with Mark Steyn?

Reply to  alastairgray29yahoocom
November 18, 2023 8:07 am

The current judge (the fifth) is threatening to impose a trial date. link

Reply to  commieBob
November 18, 2023 8:08 am
Reply to  commieBob
November 18, 2023 9:52 am

Ah, the missing link. Thank you.

Reply to  Scissor
November 18, 2023 11:17 pm

Was that a reference to Mickey?

Richard Page
Reply to  alastairgray29yahoocom
November 18, 2023 8:22 am

Crawling forward, an inch at a time. They were due in court about now but (I think) that’s been delayed for some reason. We might hear something next year – Mann’s ‘experts’ have been barred from testifying as have all but one of Mark Steyn’s as only Steyn’s remaining expert witness gave a detailed study of the methods Mann used that could be viewed as fraud. Apparently the judge didn’t want opinion as to whether they thought it was fraud, he wanted an analysis that the court could then decide on whether it amounted to fraud.

Curious George
Reply to  commieBob
November 18, 2023 7:48 am

“suspect fraud in ALL studies until proven otherwise”
It is called the scientific method.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  commieBob
November 18, 2023 9:45 am

“You won’t have a career in academia unless you publish.”

It’s too bad academics aren’t judged by how good a teacher they are.

November 18, 2023 7:53 am
Gregory Woods
November 18, 2023 7:58 am

Amazing studies and the places to find them.

November 18, 2023 8:18 am

In today’s environment facts are hard to come by.

Reply to  mleskovarsocalrrcom
November 20, 2023 2:14 pm

We’re complicit. It’s much easier to make comments based on experience it is to go out and find a new fact – then share it with commentators!

michael hart
November 18, 2023 8:21 am

Science is supposed to be replicable. That’s the mantra.

But doing so, generally attracts little attention and zero funding. And possibly less than zero appreciation in the “community” if you don’t agree with the published material.
There is no such title as The Journal of Negative Results.

Yes, the big headline stuff does get replicated when it is too important not to. But that is a tiny, tiny, part of what gets published.

MIke McHenry
Reply to  michael hart
November 18, 2023 9:02 am

There is Latest I read said they have 42000 science papers

Reply to  michael hart
November 20, 2023 2:16 pm

The Journal of Negative Results.
Brilliant. It would be popular.

Kevin Kilty
November 18, 2023 8:23 am

Generally speaking this is good advice:

Another trap to avoid is basing your views on personal anecdotes. People sometimes defy the odds, like your great uncle who lived to the age of 95 even though he smoked like he was on fire and drank like he was trying to put it out.

But there is a really important principle lurking uderneath. A “population” in the statistical sense is made up of the aggregate characteristics of individuals, but applying population characteristics to individuals is a fallacy. For example, pharmaceuticals that show efficacy in randomized trials of a population may in fact be detrimental if applied to individuals within the population. That these individuals show detrimental effects from a therapy approved for their efficacy are anecdotes — but they are informative just the same.

I suppose we can argue at length about whether saying “personal anecdotes” means more/less than “anecdotes”. Let’s not.

Kevin Kilty
Reply to  Kevin Kilty
November 18, 2023 8:26 am

Oh for the return of an edit function — “uderneath” might be found underneath, I suppose.

MIke McHenry
November 18, 2023 8:27 am

My favorite MSM phrase is “Scientists Say” Hilarious!

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  MIke McHenry
November 18, 2023 9:51 am

or, “the science says”- anthropomorphizing it

Reply to  MIke McHenry
November 18, 2023 11:24 am

You never read the phrase “Unnamed scientists say”, but that is always the case. Then they interview and name some hack in some non profit foundation that agrees with what “scientists say”.

Reply to  MIke McHenry
November 20, 2023 2:17 pm


Erik Magnuson
November 18, 2023 9:31 am

With respect to “peer review”, I’m thinking that putting a paper up for open discussion is much more effective than a confidential peer review for weeding out BS and fraud.

I’m also of the opinion that the conclusions from a paper should be treated as “suggestions” (hypothesis) as opposed to “proof”. “Proof” come from repeatable experimental data supporting the conclusions of the paper.

I give a lot more credence to someone who says “this is what I think is happening” than someone who says “this is what the science says”.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Erik Magnuson
November 18, 2023 9:54 am

Apparently, it’s not considered professional to critique a peer reviewed paper. Not gentlemanly.

Kit P
November 18, 2023 10:24 am

Before retiring I was an independent fact checker for the federal goverment submitting to different part of federal goverment. There are criminal penalties for making material false statements.

The first issue is that some do not know how to tell the truth and the second some will use facts that are true facts to mislead.

The absences of evidence is not evidence.

For many years we used a type of piping insulation and thee was no problem. Then a pipe broke and the insulation prevented the pump from working that was used when a pipe broke. Problem! Then the industry came up with new types of insulation and did lots of testing.

I submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the new insulation was not a problems for my pump in a new reactor based on my review of finding no evidence of a problem.

The NRC replied back that our testing had found 50 ppm of the material dissolved in the water. I asked the the NRC would agree that was level that is generally considered insoluble and would not affect pump operation.

I agreed to change ‘no problem’ to ‘no significant problem.

My point here telling the truth is not easy. I refused to sign a document when phd geologist was not a problem. Maybe so but I wanted a calculation. They said I did not have a phd and I replied it was high school chemistry and they were making up shit.

I would agree that in the context hydrogen was not a problem but you can not say that to the NRC without a calculation.

In this case, telling the truth was easy but required a little more work.

An example of misleading truths is a DOE study on BEV. It is true that BEV could improve air quality many places in the world. However, in the US pollution controls had solved air quality problems.

I would rejected the DOE report if assigned to fact check.

Michael in Dublin
November 18, 2023 11:15 am

Things that have stood me in good stead:

  1. begin with a complete primary source not abstracts or summaries or news reports or reviews
  2. note the context of this source: who presented this, the occasion and his/her stated intentions
  3. examine the logic in their use of language: clear, cohesive, coherent, cogent, concise, comprehensive, not contradictory or confusing.

I have found some of the best use of language in climate articles by those who reject alarmism and worst from alarmists. I love brevity and commend Clintel’s carefully reasoned World Climate Declaration. Six points and 286 words. If the climate alarmists were really concerned about having an honest and open discussion on climate, they would be welcome to formulate their position in a similar fashion and meet with a team from Clintel for a public discussion of both.

November 18, 2023 12:24 pm

WHO is JustFacts? I see no About page, no names of who is involved, no names of who pays the bills.

This makes them an anonymous source….which I would not trust.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
November 18, 2023 2:56 pm

Here I am at the end of the comments (so far). I read them all in hopes of finding out just who is the organization behind this. Will the author speak up?

Reply to  AndyHce
November 18, 2023 3:02 pm

I mean, while the data might be good, it might be bad. It strongly reminds me, perhaps unfairly, of various “fact checking” organizations that are clearly mostly propagandist for political organizations dedicated to “wealth re-distribution” from the general population to the already extremely wealthy.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
November 18, 2023 3:21 pm

A short trip around the Internet gives us this:

James D. Agresti
Reply to  Kip Hansen
November 18, 2023 10:39 pm

I’m the president of Just Facts and the main author of the content in this post. I’ve contributed about a dozen articles to WUWT. Here’s an overview of Just Facts and my bio.

Most importantly, every fact in the post is rigorously documented with footnotes that ultimately lead to credible primary sources, so you don’t need to take my word for any of it.

ethical voter
November 18, 2023 3:07 pm

It’s always challenging to sift the wheat from the chaff. My Grandmothers advice was “believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see”. Me? I am a hardened sceptic. I find it incredibly rewarding to have my beliefs challenged and sometimes overturned. Unless one is a sceptic it is impossible to examine or embrace new ideas. When facts demand it I change my mind. Minds are made for changing but facts (truths) never change. I bow to two constants:- The truth which never changes and change which never ceases.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  ethical voter
November 19, 2023 10:10 pm

“Unless one is a sceptic it is impossible to examine or embrace new ideas.”

Similar to the concept that once you know everything you can’t learn anything new, by definition.

November 19, 2023 2:30 pm

People like stories—math and numbers and statistics not so much.

Perhaps true, but if numbers and statistics were as easy to present as words we’d see more of them.

Words are the filler beside the blinking crude-photo’d advertisements we cam to see.

I could keep making words for hours, and someone might read them.

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