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Monday, March 7, 2016

Crank magnet WUWT defends pseudo-science and promotes Velikovskyism "in the context of learning"

Sou | 2:33 AM Go to the first of 57 comments. Add a comment

Credit: Donna Foster Roizen
Source: Wikipedia
This doesn't warrant a long article but it ended up being longish. It's just to comment on the fact that Anthony Watts has published another article from Tim Ball, pushing Velikovsky's crank ideas as science. Tim argues that scientists shouldn't point out dumb and wrong notions posing as science. Tim calls such behaviour "scientific elitism".

Anthony Watts gives an excuse (if you can call it that) for publishing such nonsense, saying that he promotes Velikovsky "in the context of learning" and seems to think the Director of GISS NASA is a coward for not doing the same.

Tim Balls' paranoia about controlling elitists

Tim writes how science is determined by evidence. I'm kidding of course. Tim thinks there's a tiny group of scientists who head up a conspiracy to block science, and writes:
It involves a group that establishes themselves as the authority on a particular area of science. They then attack anyone who questions their prevailing wisdom. They control the curriculum in schools and universities and extend their control through professional societies. They establish themselves as a scientific elite who reject an idea and/or the author, thus blocking the very essence and dynamism of science. It is another form of “the science is settled” and “the debate is over.” Proponents of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) knew that most scientists would accept without question their claims because they were the scientific elite.

As far as Tim's irrational beliefs about who or what controls science go, that's real crank territory of the paranoid kind. Sure sometimes a paper that is way, way out of the mainstream is hard to publish, but eventually, if the findings have merit, science will prevail.

Tim's article was all over the place as usual, but he seems to have been trying to argue that the same forces that disparaged Velikovsky's crank ideas are the same forces disparaging the crank ideas of climate science deniers.

Most rational people would argue that's a good thing.

 Tim and his new-fangled computer modelers

Tim continued:
Most elitists in the AGW crowd were the new fangled computer modelers. I watched the takeover of climatology by the modelers. They quickly became the keynote presenters at conferences. 

"New-fangled computer modelers"! What century is Tim Ball living in? Do you think he has a computer? Maybe he writes out everything by hand and gets his wife or son to type it up and send it to WUWT.

I found an article in an old NOAA publication from 1972, about a new climate supermodel. That's 42 years ago. Where has Tim been for the past 42 years? Ironically I came across it because of an article that Tim Ball once mentioned but didn't link to (a blizzard in 1888).  The article is on page 32, and begins (slightly misleadingly) with:
What will the earth be like to live on in another century? Will steadily increasing pollution of our natural waters finally alter the heat balance of the world's oceans and cause sweeping climatic changes? Will carbon dioxide and other manmade pollutants so thoroughly foul our air that our great-grandchildren will have gas masks in every closet? What are likely to be the major environmental problems of the future that should be faced today? 

Tim claims he was falsely accused

Tim whines that his touting Velisovsky's pseudo-science was criticised, and he says he was falsely accused:
The reaction to my recent reference to Immanuel Velikovsky was knee-jerk, ill-informed, and a classic example of scientific elitism...
...I was falsely accused, along with Anthony Watts, of “pushing“ Velikovsky.

Tim proves he wasn't falsely accused

So he decided to get rid of the "falsely" part and push Velikovsky for real. He wrote:
As a result of Velikovsky’s research, done with thoroughness and precision, he discovered anomalies that didn’t fit the prevailing sequence of events. ...

Tim takes exception to the Wikipedia entry and writes:
Labelling Velikovsky a catastrophist was part of the attack on his ideas from mainstream science. An earlier quote from Wikipedia said,

“Velikovsky began to develop the radical catastrophist cosmology and revised chronology theories for which he would become notorious."

Why use the pejorative and subjective adjectives “radical” or “notorious”? All he did was suggest with evidence that there is another interpretation of the official evidence.
Tim again, noting that a broken clock tells the right time twice a day:
Velikovsky’s story is fascinating because of his innovative thinking and accuracy of his predictions. 

And Tim on Einstein and Velikovsky:
The Einstein/Velikovsky correspondence is fascinating reading. Much of his discussion with Einstein involved the topic of the role of electromagnetic effects on celestial mechanics. As editor of Scripta Universitatis, Velikovsky hired Einstein to prepare the physics and math section. The attacks on Velikovsky did not influence Einstein; he knew the man and his science. As open-minded scientists, they didn’t agree on everything.

The website has four short letters from Einstein and ten, mostly long, letters from Velikovsky. Here is the first letter listed:
July 8, 1946

Dear Mr. Velikovsky:

I have read the whole book about the planet Venus. There is much of interest in the book which proves that in fact catastrophes have taken place which must be attributed to extraterrestrial causes. However it is evident to every sensible physicist that these catastrophes can have nothing to do with the planet Venus and that also the direction of the inclination of the terrestrial axis towards the ecliptic could not have undergone a considerable change without the total destruction of the entire earth’s crust. Your arguments in this regard are so weak as opposed to the mechanical-astronomical ones, that   no expert will be able to take them seriously.  It were best in my opinion if you would in this way revise your books, which contain truly valuable material. If you cannot decide on this, then what is valuable in your deliberations will become ineffective, and it may be difficult finding a sensible publisher who would take the risk of such a heavy fiasco upon himself.

I tell you this in writing and return to you your manuscript, since I will not be free on the considered days.

With friendly greetings, also to your daughter,


Albert Einstein

Part of a letter from Velikovsky to Einstein, in 1952:
...When, by chance, we met last week at the lake, I became aware that you are angry with me personally for my “Worlds in Collision.” From you I have not expected this reaction. ...

From a 1952 letter from Einstein:
27th August, 1952

Dear Dr. Velikovsky:

The reason for the energetic rejection of the opinions presented by you lies not in the assumption that in the motion of the heavenly bodies only gravitation and inertia are the determining factors. The reason for the rejection lies rather in the fact that on the basis of this assumption it was possible to calculate the temporal changes of star locations in the planetary system with an unimaginably great precision.

Against such precise knowledge, speculations of the kind as were advanced by you do not come into consideration by an expert. Therefore your book must appear to an expert as an attempt to mislead the public. I must admit that I myself had at first this impression, too. Only afterwards it became clear to me that intentional misleading was entirely foreign to you.

With friendly greetings,


Albert Einstein

I think Velikovsky's wacky ideas seriously annoyed Dr Einstein. From the language it looks as if they socialised and were friendly. I get the impression that Tim Ball cannot fathom that people can be friendly with all sorts, no matter what crank notions they may entertain, if they regard them as well-meaning.

Tim Ball is a big fan of Velikovsky

If you read Tim's article you can see that despite his weak protests, he's fallen for Velikovsky hook, line and sinker. He adores the man and his work. Trying to claim that he doesn't while at the same time lauding him as if he were a physical scientist is not inconsistent with how conspiracy theorists behave (holding two contradictory thoughts at the same time).

Anthony Watts supports promoting Velikovsky's pseudo-science "in the context of learning"

Anthony Watts added a footnote, effectively saying that Gavin Schmidt is wrong to call out pseudo-scientific quackery too:
Addition by Anthony. For the record I’ve never supported Velikovsky’s ideas in the book When Worlds Collide, contrary to what Dr. Gavin Schmidt thinks. But I DO support discussing them in the context of learning, something Dr. Schmidt himself has proven he does not support by his own cowardly actions in person, and by email – Anthony Watts
Dr Schmidt is one person who doesn't shy away from anything except giving credibility to the wacky ideas of deniers. Anthony Watts has behaved in a cowardly fashion on numerous occasions. Remember how he cadged money from his readers on the promise of "asking hard questions" - and then didn't even put up his hand once to ask a question? Talk about cowardly.

And it's good to know that despite his theories that global warming is caused by russian steampipes, or little warm pockets of humanity (two people camped out in an isolated part of the least populated continent on earth, Antarctica) he draws the line at Velikovsky. But he thinks it should still be presented as legitimate science on his blog. Well, WUWT is an example of a blog that dismisses real science and promotes quacks. That's crank magnetism, without which Anthony would have no readers.

Update: Logical Leaps from frying pan to fire: Velikovsky shows that climate science is not settled

In yet a third very muddled conspiracy ridden article (archived here), Tim Ball and Anthony Watts jointly argue that scientists should not denounce quackery such as that by Velikovsky. They say that:
Neither Anthony nor I ever said we agreed with Velikovsky’s views on planetary motion. 
Not saying that they agreed is not the same as saying they disagreed, which gives Tim an out. Anthony did say that he doesn't support the claims. Tim Ball was less clear on that point in his previous two articles and is obviously a big Velikovsky fan or he wouldn't have devoted three WUWT articles praising him. At the end, however, Tim and Anthony are more or less fuzzily categorical:
Again, for the record, neither of us support Velikovsky’s views on planetary motion. Some of them are rightly labeled as ridiculous. 

The next sentence is completely wrong. Einstein didn't "encourage" Velikovsky. This is borne out by the letters above and on the website I listed below. Tim and Anthony wrote:
We pointed out that he worked with Einstein, who knew his claims and encouraged him. 
So as well as being wrong about Einstein, I see by the "we" that Anthony Watts is owning Tim Ball's articles.

The following sentences confirm what I wrote above:
We also pointed out that some who initially attacked his work, like Professor Hess, later conceded that many of his predictions were confirmed. What Ball condemned was the nastiness and unsubstantiated basis of the attacks by high priests of the prevailing wisdom. The combined effect of the automatic rejection of new ideas with the character assassination of those who present them works to preclude steady advances in science. In other words, skepticism is not allowed, and skeptics are persona non grata. This results in mainstream science effectively claiming the debate is over, and the science is settled.

The highlighted sentence is topsy turvy, unless Tim and Anthony are arguing that science advances by embracing pseudo-scientific nonsense. The last sentence doesn't follow from the previous.

And further on they make false assertions. Any data they want is available to them, conspiracy bloggers like Anthony Watts and Tim Ball just reject it in favour of their conspiracy theory. They tell a big fat lie:
More important, people can make judgments about Velikovsky because all of his data and ideas were available. The proper scientific method of presenting and testing a hypothesis was carried out in Velikovsky’s case. Unfortunately, the same was not true of the IPCC anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis, in which, as Richard Lindzen said very early in the process, the consensus was reached before the research had even begun.

That's wrong because Velikovsy's case didn't rest on "presenting and testing" any hypothesis AFAIK. Not only that but many of his hypotheses were pure unadulterated quackery, as Einstein pointed out long ago. It's also wrong because climate science as reported by the IPCC is supported by scientific evidence. The latest WG1 report cites more than 9,200 scientific peer-reviewed papers brimful of evidence.

Tim and Anthony's argument goes like this, Scientists pointed out that Velikovsky's claims, such as Venus being a comet, were ludicrous. The scientists were wrong to do so (according to Tim and Anthony). Therefore climate science is run by elitists who prevent the poor little deniers from writing nonsense on their blogs and in reputable journals. Therefore it's not been proven that humans are causing climate change.

The leaps of illogic take one's breath away!

Added by Sou at 3:42 pm AEDT 9 March 2016 and edited for clarification a little while later

From the WUWT conspiracy den

The comments aren't remarkable for all the WUWT fans who are also fans of Velikovsky. That's what you can expect at WUWT. Why they are remarkable is that some readers who should by now know better, expected anything different from the climate conspiracy blog WUWT.

March 5, 2016 at 5:41 pm
Wow. you’ve outdone yourself..I now have lots of homework to do ! Thanks to both you and Anthony ! 

March 5, 2016 at 6:07 pm
I’m not a Popperian, but any scientist who puts forth a hypothesis should, at a minimum, also state what, if observed, would prove the hypothesis wrong. My scant understanding of Velikovsky is that he did not do this.

Gary Pearse will take Velikovsky over Einstein any day:
March 5, 2016 at 7:44 pm
Read his stuff and if you are not intrigued, go on with your dull witted certainty. 

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Dushanbe probably regards Anthony Watts, the potty peer and uber-conspiracy theorist Tim Ball as three of the most important contributors to climate science in the modern world:
March 5, 2016 at 9:02 pm (excerpt)
..It is interesting that Velikovsky and Tesla, two of the most important contributors to science in the modern world, had so much trouble with the establishment. When things they predicted or discovered are accepted by the mainstream, they are sidelined and silenced and others, as in the case of Darwin, are credited with novelty for things already published. ..

Wm Sears  is puzzled by Tim Balls' fascination.  He doesn't know Tim well, does he.
March 5, 2016 at 6:29 pm
Tim “The Einstein/Velikovsky correspondence is fascinating reading.”
In this correspondence we see that, although politely stated, Einstein considered Velikovsky to be at best a crank and possibly a quack. I don’t understand this fascination with Velikovsky that you and others have. In the seventies McMaster University held a conference on Velikovsky inspired spin-offs. It was used by the humanities faculty as a science bashing frenzy. No claim was considered too bizarre. I was asked if I thought that the Burmuda Triangle was caused by black holes. 

Nick Stokes
March 5, 2016 at 7:21 pm
There is very little mention here of exactly why scientists said velikovsky was wrong. The Wiki summary of his major book says:
"Worlds in Collision is a book written by Immanuel Velikovsky and first published April 3, 1950. The book postulated that around the 15th century BCE, Venus was ejected from Jupiter as a comet or comet-like object, and passed near Earth (an actual collision is not mentioned). The object changed Earth’s orbit and axis, causing innumerable catastrophes that were mentioned in early mythologies and religions around the world."
Is it really necessary to believe that scientists disputed that because of claimed deficiencies in V’s education? Does anyone seriously believe it is actually true?
Thought not. So what is wrong with scientists saying it is wrong?

AndyE's comment is reeking with right wing authoritarianism (which P reminded me of yesterday) - Tim Ball is awarded the role of the "scumbucket" authoritarian leader.
March 5, 2016 at 8:06 pm
Well done, Tim Ball. As always, you are serenely objective and properly scientific. You are never scared of novel theories as long as they are reasonably founded. Real science progresses quietly and haltingly by individual scientists stepping out fearlessly with new theories and waiting for time or other scientists to demolish their theories. Velikovsky was to my mind a real scientist, a very knowledgeable person doing his utmost to further our understanding of reality. Of course, time (and further obvious facts) proved him very wrong in many of his theories – but so what! He should never be denigrated because of that. 

lsvalgaard wants WUWT polluted with a different sort of nonsense than Velikovsky. He can take his pick of the usual nonsense.
March 5, 2016 at 8:59 pm
As I have said before, pushing Velikovsky shows the sad state of scientific literacy, even by people who claim to be scientists. Velikovsky’s claims were garbage on their face. Find me even a single claim that were based on application of known physical laws and derived by quantitative calculation. I say “shame on you” for polluting WUWT with your nonsense. 

Steve McIntyre prefers WUWT gets involved in different sorts of foolishness. He doesn't say which WUWT foolishness he prefers. The list is very long.
March 5, 2016 at 9:29 pm
Velikovsky’s historical writings are total nonsense and a complete waste of time. WUWT should not be getting involved in this sort of foolishness. 

Gary Hladik has some Velikovsky favourites:
March 5, 2016 at 10:11 pm
My two favorite parts of Velikovsky’s claims:
(1) Venus stopped the Earth’s rotation, then started it up again, all within days or hours;
(2) Venus rained “hydrocarbons” on some parts of the Earth and “carbohydrates” on others.
I’d say you can’t make this stuff up, but obviously…you can! :-) 

anna v is in favour of elitism in science:
March 5, 2016 at 9:04 pm (excerpt from a much longer comment)
Should one have elitism in science? i.e.a ruling framework where the majority of scientists have as a postulate?
I will argue that yes. Elitism may lead to fashions, but fashions are not elitism. 

References and further reading

Supermodel - article by Joann Temple Dennett on page 32 of NOAA January 1972

The Einstein-Velikovsky Correspondence

From the HotWhopper archives


  1. Science is its own worst enemy. -- Tim Ball

    Oh, I can think of at least one worse one, Tim.

    1. Ball isn't an enemy of science, he's a casualty of science.

  2. Timmy Ball: It involves a group that establishes themselves as the authority on a particular area of science.

    How interesting it is that Timmy would whine about "elitism" given his own words from 10 years ago:

    "And I am not the only one trying to make people open up their eyes and see the truth. But few listen, despite the fact that I was the first Canadian Ph.D. in Climatology and I have an extensive background in climatology, especially the reconstruction of past climates and the impact of climate change on human history and the human condition. Few listen, even though I have a Ph.D, (Doctor of Science) from the University of London, England and was a climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg.”


    1. Ball was a very unproductive professor of geography, and as was brought out in at least one libel case that he lost, not a professor of climatology. The university had no such title or department, and Ball's two or three papers on historical weather records from a couple of trading posts hardly qualified him as an expert in the field.

    2. I Googled that quote because it's another example of a false claim by Tim Ball (he was never a Professor of Climatology). The first link was to a copy of his article posted with his permission on a Chemtrails blog.

      How fitting!

    3. "I have a Ph.D, (Doctor of Science) from the University of London, England"
      The University of London doesn't exist - at least not as an academic institution. It is actually an umbrella organisation for 26 separate, self governing, colleges. See
      I actually a Ph.D. from one of those colleges (UCL) (evidence here) and would never describe my Ph.D. as from "University of London"

    4. Not to mention that a Ph.D is not a "Doctor of Science". (I'm touchy 'cos my dad has a Doctor of Science degree (HC)).

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I'm puzzled by this comment by Ball - "He was born and lived in the Soviet Union; a serious problem in the McCarthy era."

    1. Velikovsky was born in 1895, over 20 years before the start of the Soviet Union.
    2. He left Russia in the early 20s.
    3. Harlow Shapley, by contrast, was accused of being a communist by McCarthy.

  5. I think you should have been fairer to LS and SM. Both have directly said the post is nonsense; you can't ask for more, on this topic.

    1. WC - Sou often quotes the *sane* comments. There is no implied insult to either McIntyre or Stokes (I assume you meant NS, not LS). It let's readers here know that even with contrary opinion/evidence evident in the WUWT thread they still with great regularity cheer on the original post.

    2. WC I value your opinion as always, however I'm at a loss to understand what is unfair about my posting the comments from Leif and Steve.

      Both are big fans of Anthony Watts and WUWT and so both are very aware that Anthony regularly posts things that are as silly as this article, and often much worse. Why they both felt compelled to single this article out above any of the zillion of other sillier articles is what my comment at the top of that section, and along with their individual comments related to.

      I don't hold either individual in high regard as you can probably guess. Leif doesn't rate as low as Steve, of course. Despite rejecting 97% of science, Leif does try to inject a bit of sanity when it comes to solar stuff. Steve McIntyre is beneath contempt.

  6. > (I assume you meant NS, not LS

    No, I meant Svalgaard.

    > There is no implied insult to either McIntyre

    Pardon? I don't see how you can read "Steve McIntyre prefers WUWT gets involved in different sorts of foolishness. He doesn't say which WUWT foolishness he prefers" any other way.

    1. I know you don't like them. But it isn't necessary to say that at every occasion. And if they say something with which you entirely agree, there's no need to build more walls. SM's, or LS's comment, if made by you or I or NS would have been entirely acceptable - so why criticise them for making it?

    2. I wasn't criticising them for making the comment they did make. I was criticising them for not making similar comments on other equally bad articles, and on articles much worse than this one.

      (Contrast Steve and Lief with Nick Stokes, who has stuck it out through thick and thin, often criticising the nonsense that appears there while managing not to get banned.)

      Oh - and yes, I think it is important to say that on every occasion. Not everyone who reads HW is a climate buff who is familiar with other bloggers. I'd not want anyone to get the false impression that they are above reproach, especially not Steve McIntyre.

    3. On reflection WC, you have a point. The replies to you were in a more serious vein than the snark in the article, which were meant in a less serious vein, and might not have been read quite the way I intended.

      It's a reminder to me to take opinions from people I value to heart.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Ball's article is a barely rewritten copy of something from his website from 2011

  8. (just catching up). Indeed, WMC had a fair point and I'm glad to see Sou agree.
    But I'd offer a more general reason.
    Consider the 2 positions from viewpoint of an onlooker not already familiar with all the history:

    A) X has ignored many wrong things, so zing them whatever they say.

    B) X is exactly right on this, although has ignored many other wrong things.

    One of those comes across better...

    There is another factor at work, I think, seen a few years ago at Skeptical Inquirer, which published a few straightforward articles about AGW ...
    and generated a small ,but very intense flurry of "cancel my subscriptions for printing such junk" letters.
    That stunned the E-i-C, especially when the only supportive letter in the first wave was mine. But after seeing some of this, I thought there was a plausible explanation.

    People who pride themselves as (real) skeptics are not necessarily immune to ideology-based pseudoskeptic behavior on some topics. It is much, much easier (and ego-enhancing) to be amused at Velikovsky, relativity-deniers, UFOlogists, crop-circle folks ("cerealogists" :-)). than to deal with something real like AGW. The firestorm passed, and SI has been a good defender of climate science for years.

    Anyway, there is zero downside for an AGW-denier to mock Velikovsky.

    Disclosure: I'm a CSI Scientific and Technical Consultant.

    1. Could you prevail on the Humanist curia to scan and link the back issues of Skeptical Enquirer that contain letters critical of the teachings of the former next president , and the Blessed Carl of Ithica?

  9. rational wiki has a couple of interesting articles on this sort of stuff

  10. Ball: "Why use the pejorative and subjective adjectives ..."


    Because Tim Ball never uses pejorative and subjective adjectives, right?

    1. Yes. It's difficult to see how you can rationally go from calling the word "radical" pejorative, to

      "This meant he was not indoctrinated by formal education in specialized academic science – the bastions of dogmatism and intellectual tunnel vision."

  11. It's also strange that he regards Carl Sagan and Stephen J Gould as part of the scientific elite. Both were great popularizers of science, and Gould was frequently criticized for his claims.

  12. I thought that WUWT had banned Doug Cotton for his peculiar (even for WUWT) views on physics. It seems that if they want to embrace people who "question their prevailing wisdom" then it seem they would encourage his contributions... "in the context of learning."

    1. The science-based banninations were from a different era, when WUWT still tried to paint itself with a veneer of real science. He also banned electric universe proponents and dragon slayers, but they're starting to sneak back.

    2. Laysej:
      He did ban him....

      And Spencer's just banned him - for the umpteenth time and hopefully the last.

    3. Laysej:
      He did ban him....

      And Spencer's just banned him - for the umpteenth time and hopefully the last.

    4. Spencer has just turned off comments on his blog entirely, due to - wait for it - Doug Cotton. After what must be dozens of pseudonyms and proxy IP addresses, Dr. Spencer decided that the abuse of the comment sections had gone far enough, and that the pain of close moderation wasn't worth it.

      Perhaps he should talk to Watts - the ban there seems to hold up. Although I disagree mightily with Spencer on many topics, he does on occasion post actual science, unlike many of the denier blogs.

    5. Cotton is easy to moderate; I know from experience. If RS can't work it out, he has a problem, but its not DC...

  13. We all grow up believing that the moisture in clear air is gaseous. Most of us have at least enough education to realize the boiling point of water is much higher than that of our ambient environment. And most of us realize that boiling has to do with a phase change from a liquid state of matter to a gaseous state of matter. Most of us reconcile this dichotomy by just not thinking about it. Some of us come up with rationalization to explain it away. But if you are going to do science you can't fall back on these excuses. You have to see things for what they actually are.

    There is no gaseous H2O in earth's atmosphere.

    Moist air is heavier than dry air.

    Moist air convection is impossible.

    Meteorology needs another way to explain the power of storms, why storms are wet, and how heavier moist air gets so high in earth's atmosphere.

    James McGinn
    Solving Tornadoes

    1. Most of us also have heard of evaporation and sublimation.

      Most of us also learn that air is mainly N2 and O2 with molecular weights of 28 and 32 respectively. Meanwhile H2O has a molecular weight of 18; lighter than both N2 and O2.

      So if *you* learned that "Moist air is heavier than dry air." then you ought to ask for your money back from whatever school churned you out - assuming a school was involved.

      This post is about cranks - it's not supposed to draw them in.

    2. "There is no gaseous H2O in earth's atmosphere."

      This was said with irony, was it not?

    3. A self published climate crank who specialises in abuse and pseudo-science at the unhinged end of the scale.

      e.g. ->
      "About ten years ago I confronted the "settled science" of global warming. My examination revealed it as plainly inept."

      "Any retard can get an PhD in climatology, BTW"

      "Convection is almost nonexistent in our atmosphere. Convection is a fairy tale told by meteorologists"

    4. Tadaa: "Like moths to s flame."

      Don't you mean phlogiston?

    5. James:
      Err, then how do clouds form?

      3 weeks early for April Fools

    6. Of course those that actually do think about it, and there are those that do, know that the boiling point is only the temperature at which the vapor pressure of the liquid equals the pressure surrounding the liquid and the liquid changes into a vapor. Of course water at any temperature contains individuals molecules that have enough kinetic energy to escape into the atmosphere as a vapor and the warmer that water is the more likely that is to occur up to the boiling point where essentially all the molecules have the energy to do so. We know water “evaporates” as this is easily observed. What seems more likely? Individual molecules escaping into the atmosphere from a body of liquid water or a droplet?

    7. Is James McGinn's comment a Poe? Most of the points he made have been addressed already.

      There is no gaseous H2O in earth's atmosphere.

      P'raps he's never seen water condensation.

    8. "P'raps he's never seen water condensation."


      He thinks the water is hiding as small suspended droplets, too small to see with the naked eye.

      James McGinn is the Theodoric of York of climate deniers :
      "You know, medicine is not an exact science, but we are learning all the time. Why, just fifty years ago, they thought a disease like your daughter's was caused by demonic possession or witchcraft. But nowadays we know that Isabelle is suffering from an imbalance of bodily humors, perhaps caused by a toad or a small dwarf living in her stomach."

    9. Poe? I think not. Windmills cause droughts dontcha know?

    10. Jim McGinn: “So, remember, warmer air is almost always heavier because it, almost always, is holding a higher capacity of liquid water micro droplets.”

      Of course, I’m not smart enough to understand how these droplets, which are not part of the gaseous atmosphere, can have an effect on the properties of that air mass since they are not part of the gas mixture. How can they change the density? How do you treat these droplets with Amagat’s or Dalton’s Laws? Which we know generally apply to the air with humidity. What volume do you assign these droplets? IDK.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Another post on WUWT about Velikovsky, this time insisting that Watts and Ball don't agree with some of Velikovsky ideas on planetary motion, and that it's all Mann's fault.

  16. The little #wutz being unable to learn from past mistakes has just tripled down on the Ball idiocracy.
    Sorry willard but that isn't going to be the distaction you need from #snipgate.

  17. Just as a point of interest, did people see that Salby's 'political interference' case just got thrown out? I saw it on The Oz's site, which is paywalled, of course, but googling 'Justice Driver said Dr Salby had "failed to establish' did the trick.

    Doubtlessly, in certain circles this will only be seen as further evidence of the extent of the conspiracy...

    1. Given all the ridiculous ideas that Salby has recently been pushing, recall that he wrote two comprehensive textbooks on atmospheric physics. In retrospect, I wouldn't trust anything he has ever written, and same goes for Lindzen. Everything they have done research-wise probably should be revisited.

  18. Anthony holds hands with Tim Ball and they both leap from the frying pan into the fire, with yet a third Velikovsky article.

    1. A Napoleon Bonaparte once observed

      "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake"

  19. That's some desperate hand wringing going on at WUWT. Watts admits that he had no idea who Velikovsky was but published Ball's insanity regardless. What a hoot!

    1. Next up how the scientific elite prevented the public from hearing from two other unknowns, who would have been famous except for the elite gatekeepers: respected paleoclimatologist Erich von Daniken and climate science futurist, Michael Crichton.

  20. From the third WUWT post:

    "In other words, skepticism is not allowed, and skeptics are persona non grata. This results in mainstream science effectively claiming the debate is over, and the science is settled.

    This is precisely what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), of which Michael Mann was a member, did. Like Velikovsky, few of their conclusions were correct."

    So the IPCC is just like those who reject Velikovsky, but just like Velikovsky in being wrong?

  21. "The combined effect of the automatic rejection of new ideas with the character assassination of those who present them works to preclude steady advances in science."

    Exactly what 'new ideas' have the deniers come up with? Climate change was a 'new idea', which was incorporated into mainstream science once it accumulated sufficient supporting evidence. Most deniers aren't even in the same class as Velikovsky, let alone Galileo. They've contributed no new ideas, good or bad. They're just knee-jerk reactionaries rejecting solid science because it's incompatible with their prior beliefs, much like creationists.

  22. Apparently the little #wutz completly lacks the irony gene and left some real whoppers on the third thread. In wutzilvania busy psueodo-scientists cannot be expected to complete a 5 minute google search on the subject of a post at his blog...scientists like wee willard are much too busy to waste time on all that sciencey stuff like research. Wutz didn't get where he got today by doing real research...
    Are you aware that a certain BEST scientist with the initials SM has been putting the hurt to wutz while chumming around with three of his "enemies"
    You are now occupying so much space in the queen of troll's head that wutz is going to start charging you rent. You know exactly which buttons to push to make him your personal bot.
    Up here in the northern hemisphere we are working a different tactic that is quite effective, so much so that Jim Hunt and Lawrence Martin have joined the exclusive Hadfield Sinclair club and were homoured to be included amoungst "those of who one shall not speak.
    Are you aware of the Judith Curry kerfuffle and the true origins of #DMIgate?
    We are still beta testing our lates LMGTFY project and the results are working better than expected in Canada and the United Kingdom. We appreciate any imput regarding the current search and any hilarious suggestions...


    wutz is also the second dumbest man on the internet...

    scroll down to the Hotwhopper post and click to bring it to the top of the list in your neck of the woods.

  23. Cue bibliometric study proving that 97% of Einstein's co-authors agree with Velikovski's spelling of 'Venus"


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