It was only this morning when a worthy contributor at HotWhopper remarked on an article in the Telegraph, in which Tom Chivers referred to this sort of ugly response to the ice-bound ship in Antarctica as trolling. We then observed how anyone who discusses science at WUWT is commonly referred to as a troll.
Is it pure coincidence that the first thing I see when I check WUWT is:
Peer Review; Last Refuge of the (Uninformed) TrollAnd the first sentence I read in that new article is this?
It has become a favorite tactic amongst trolls to declare their belief in peer reviewed science.
It just goes to show, doesn't it :D
Anthony Watts has put up an article (archived here) by David M Hoffer (who believes that scientists ought to be diminished to an "it"). David Hoffer appears to be trying to make an argument that the fact that fake sceptics have not managed to publish anything credible to prove any one of their various weird and wonderful theories, doesn't mean that any one of their weird and wonderful theories that we're heading for an ice age or whatever won't hold up. He continues:
With this simple strategy, they at once excuse themselves from the need to know anything about the science, and at the same time seek to discredit skeptic arguments on the grounds that, not having been published in peer reviewed journals, they may be dismissed out of hand.
Which is a funny thing to say. First of all, David fails to spell out anywhere in his article just which of the myriad conflicting fake skeptic arguments he believes are credit-worthy. Secondly, if "trolls" (aka scientists and others) accept peer-reviewed science it's quite likely that:
- it's their own research, which they've published in a peer-reviewed journal and/or
- it's science they've read in a peer-reviewed journal and/or
- they understand science well enough to know whether a particular paper accords with or conflicts with the wider body of scientific knowledge and/or
- they are sensible enough to realise that if 97% of the thousands of experts agree, then it's probably wise to pay attention.
The "argument" hinges (precariously) on an ancient Greek (and a less ancient Italian)
Falsifying this notion required no more than pointing out that one cannot see in a dark room.
Just because there is no peer-reviewed paper proving that pigs can fly...
...retreat to authoritarian arguments in the face of dead simple observations.
Galileo proves something or other ...
David calls on Galileo Galilei to support his notion that all the scientists in the world have had it wrong for decades. This is rather odd, because Galileo was a scientist who was battling with fake sceptics who didn't like him or his science largely because of political ideology (the Church and politics were intertwined back then). Just like all the fake sceptics at WUWT. So it's not at all clear why David would call on him for support. If Galileo were alive today he'd be horrified to discover the anti-science mob claimed him as one of their own.
Move over Tom Wigley, there's a new ruler in town
Another thing, David M Hoffer disputes the fact that Tom Wigley is the ruler of the world. He reckons that its Kevin Trenberth, who he says is "arguably the most politically powerful climate scientist on earth". They are a fickle lot this anti-science crowd. Maybe there'll be a stand-up fight between David M Hoffer and Tim Ball. Who's going to place a bet?
David M Hoffer's "evidence"
Finally David puts up his dead simple observations as "evidence" that all the physics, chemistry and biology is wrong. Well, I know who's acting like a dead simpleton and it's not the scientists. Here are David's "dead simple" notions:
- stolen emails (Good grief - not that furphy!)
- the models are wrong (No they aren't!)
- the models didn't indicate that the oceans would warm up with global warming (What nonsense! What did he think would happen? That the oceans would cool down with global warming?)
- Roy Spencer says the Earth emits radiation to space (If it didn't, we'd have combusted long before we evolved.)
- the models didn't suggest that the Arctic would warm faster than other places (Every projection in the IPCC reports shows the Arctic warming faster.)
David M Hoffer's most sensible conclusion
David concludes his wondrous non-peer reviewed bit of nonsense with:
But you need not believe me in that regard.That's a relief. You'd be much better to do as David finally and sensibly suggests:
Just the peer reviewed science by the foremost climate scientists on earth.Thank goodness. We now have David M Hoffer's permission to go back to peer-reviewed science. I bet he had you all worried for a minute or less :)
From the WUWT comments
December 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm
‘Peer review’ may become ‘pal review’, or less politely a ‘circle jerk’ of like-minded colleagues boosting one another’s fortunes.
Janice Moore says:
December 29, 2013 at 4:32 pm
Well done, David M. Hoffer (if I may, smile). Glad to see an article by you. When I saw you were this post’s author, I even came off my WUWT vacation to read it. You (and other WUWT science giants) certainly provided irrefutable demonstrative evidence of your above assertion in your valiant attempt last week to educate that troll-of-contrived-ignorance whose name I will NOT give the benefit of even mentioning ( = home for a legion of rabbits, going nicely with Monckton’s hive metaphor in the post below which your comments appeared).
Bob Tisdale says (did you doubt he would?):
December 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm
Thanks, David. Well put!
Andrew Thomas says (excerpt):
December 29, 2013 at 4:51 pm
Warmist “peer review” is as dishonest as their pseudo-scientific religion.
mosomoso says (excerpt):
December 29, 2013 at 6:18 pm
Peer reviewed climate science seems to be little more than the art of ignoring one’s ignorance for the greater good of the clique. Maybe five percent of the hydrosphere has been visited? Never mind. Almost all of the hot, plasticky ball called Earth unvisited, unexamined? Bor-ing. Get to all that later. Gotta publish.
The next few are from readers who can demonstrate they are alive and probably have at least half a brain, some have a whole one. They are outnumbered by around ten to one, which in itself is quite a remarkable achievement for WUWT where the ratio is generally closer to 99 to one:
December 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm
Is there some law that says if you’re having an argument about science and you compare yourself to Galileo you automatically lose?
December 29, 2013 at 4:53 pm
I try to actually introduce as many of my friends to your excellent website as a focus of general science (which it does a better job than fully dedicated ones) but when ironic S@*te like this appears it dilutes some of the excellent pieces posted here.
December 29, 2013 at 5:41 pm
Oh dear – a paper which starts by defining anyone who dares question the views of the author as a ‘troll’. The beauty of this bit of sophistry is that the author virtually sets up, and automatically ‘wins’, a circular argument: trolls are wrong and bad. Hoffer is not a troll.
Therefore D Hoffer is right!
Verbal alchemy – logical dross into gold!