the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Politicians + Scientists = Polyscienticians

Posted by Jeff Id on February 26, 2009

Anthony Watts already covered this but it is important enough to take note of here after all the site URL is noconsensus. I originally thought of the name because I was going to blog about politics and science as well as global warming. I thought it applied to a wide variety of topics so it gave me freedom to post on anything.

Consensus in science is typically the result of many years of study and understanding with clear provable results. It has never to my knowledge been used to project an outcome centuries in advance without actual proof. The antarctic paper is a good example in that the data and construction are so obfuscated and under-verified I doubt now the result can be sorted from the mathematical artifacts. Yet this paper somehow passed through peer review cleanly enough to make the cover of Nature. It’s so obvious that by declaring a scientific consensus that the declaration is in reality politics that the very words self prove the political nature of the statement. If I claim 2 + 2 =4 and then shout scientists have reached consensus you might believe me but perhaps another scientist says just as definitively 2 + 2 = 11 and declares consensus. In reality that’s only because he used in base 3. My point is that the scientific community will only in the most certain of instances have consensus.

The political nature of the subject and the diffusion of AGW politics through the scinetists is obvious and clearly corrupting to the science. Does anyone think that this Antarctic paper would be on the cover of nature if the same unusual methods found cooling? Isn’t this supposed to be science before outcome?

Anyway, I recommend reading the link below because there is no consensus.

Japan’s boffins: Global warming isn’t man-made

As I’m sitting here considering how Dr. Steig so childishly reacted to me like I wasn’t qualified to see the data and code of his paper, I feel now that the tables have turned and perhaps Dr. Steig is the one not qualified to do the math. I bet it’s a bit warm in the Antarctic over the last few days. Engineering school is almost nothing but math so I don’t mind learning new methods but now I wonder what they teach in climatology school (whatever that is).


8 Responses to “Politicians + Scientists = Polyscienticians”

  1. page48 said

    “Yet this paper somehow passed through peer review cleanly enough to make the cover of Nature.”

    Worse than the fact that the paper passed “peer review” in the first place, is the fact the the term “peer review” has been corrupted, for the public mind, to mean “validated,” and/or verified which, of course was never the original intent of the term.

  2. AEGeneral said

    On the subject of peer review, I saw that William Briggs wrote a piece on that just yesterday:

    http://wmbriggs.com/blog/2009/02/25/peer-review/

  3. page48 said

    Re: #2

    Great post, General.

    In keeping with the general idea, everyone should read this. Link here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Hendrik_Sch%C3%B6n

  4. Layman Lurker said

    Great work on all of your contributions on the Antarctic paper. Still lot’s more to come no doubt. On behalf of all of your readers I will give you a big hat tip. Don’t want to jump the gun here Jeff, but when the cautious SM states that you can “stick a fork” in the claim that the Antarctic eigenvectors reflect physical processes, you know that there is going to be big stuff happening very soon. And you are in the middle of it.

  5. Layman Lurker said

    “As I’m sitting here considering how Dr. Steig so childishly reacted to me like I wasn’t qualified to see the data and code of his paper, I feel now that the tables have turned and perhaps Dr. Steig is the one not qualified to do the math.”

    You are a hockey fan Jeff. You know what happens to a hockey team in the playoffs when the opposing “team” publicly insults there capabilities.

    I think you have some comments from the “team” pasted on the wall of your dressing room somewhere.

  6. Jeff Id said

    #5 thanks, You’re right about that. I wouldn’t have cared as much if he had been cordial or even somewhat in the realm of polite. People like that usually won’t say those things to your face.

    The Wings kicked some serious butt last night against the Sharks. It was good to see that much energy from them.

  7. About which research field/lecture course did the following paraphrases come from?

    “The less a subject is understood, the more entrenched each opposing camp’s viewpoint.”

    “Science is expensive. The cold hard reality is that big science is driven by money.”

    “Unfortunately, he made the fatal mistake (for a scientist) of falling in love with his own theories. His ideas became more and more extreme over time.”

    “This research paper, now considered a seminal work in the field, was blocked at every turn from publication. It was eventually published in an obscure journal. I don’t know a single researcher who didn’t have to obtain a photocopy of a photocopy of this paper.”

    No, not climatology. ;-)

    Origins of Life lecture series by Professor Robert M. Hazen. Welcome to government funded big science and the huge egos and reputations involved.

  8. page48 said

    Off Topic, but necessary reading for anyone who sees the lunacy of our times:

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25031389-7583,00.html

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