Sunday, March 10, 2013

Conspiracist ideation - WUWT just can't let it go!

Updated with screenshots of comments about "human subjects".

On WUWT today, there's a guest post by Brandon Shollenberger about the paper "Recursive Fury" by Lewandowsky et al (2013) (accepted for publication).

This brings to 25 the number of WUWT 'protest' articles (tagged "Stephan Lewandowsky") since September last year, after his first paper became public.

It's a conspiracy, a hoax, a nefarious plot!

After some digging, Brandon has concluded that Foxgoose's conspiracy theory was not that he thought the respondents to the survey were not "Human Subjects".  His theory was that the 'skeptic' blog owners were not "Human Subjects".

Here are screenshots of the exchange.  (Click the screenshots to enlarge.) Eli Rabett refers to a tweet exchange and indicates the Ethics Committee (Human Subjects folk)** would have concerns about revealing identities without the permission of said identities.  Foxgoose responds:

To which Eli Rabett wryly notes:

Whatever, Brandon goes to some length to support his finding that Foxgoose's conspiracy theory was that skeptic blog owners weren't "human subjects" - that, despite all the evidence including from said blog owners themselves, Foxgoose didn't believe any 'skeptic' blogs were approached to take part in the initial survey for the paper "NASA faked the moon landing therefore (climate) science is a hoax - An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science".

Some conspiracy theorists can't let go of their theory - despite evidence to the contrary

In the comments section, Foxgoose agrees that Brandon interpreted his conspiracy theory correctly.  He also demonstrates that, despite the 'skeptic' blogs being subsequently named and the blog owners acknowledging they'd been invited, Foxgoose still hasn't let go of this particular conspiracy theory of his, referring to "improbable defence" (of first contacting the Ethics Committee) and "hypothetical sceptic blog proprietors".

The point being?

Brandon also brought up the conspiracy theory circulating at the time that IP addresses were being blocked.

I guess Brandon was hoping to bring out yet more evidence to show that while some conspiracy theorists will adapt their theories as facts emerge, some cling onto their 'theories' despite evidence to the contrary.

Looking through the comments to his article, his efforts were not in vain. He's even managed to generate at least one new 'conspiracy ideation'.  Update: in relation to that new 'conspiracy ideation':

(One commenter even calls for more letters of protest to UWA.  So the University will probably have to deal with still more emails from rabid conspiracy theorists.  Will UWA's responses amplify the theory documented in Lewandowsky et al, in which UWA is involved in a broad-based nefarious conspiracy with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and possibly the Australian Government?)

**Note: In Eli Rabett's first comment above, he is referring to the Ethics Committee when he refers to Human Subjects folk (ie the committee that determines ethics when it comes to research involving human subjects).  Foxgoose responds with: "The current premise is that there are no "Human Subjects".  There are apparently differing interpretations of just what he meant by that. Was it conspiracy theory 1 or conspiracy theory 2?


  1. On Shapingtomorrowsworld Foxgoose has now proclaimed that the recursive fury fraudulently misinterprets his statements, and he also claims to have sent various complaints to the universities involved. Normally I'd think this is funny, if it weren't for the fact that universities are essentially required to investigate.

    A. Scott, in the meantime, starts barking up the wrong tree about the supposed changes in the peer reviewer names, and demanding Lewandowsky et al explain this...
    Another funny thing is that someone apparently made him think that an Editor reviewing a paper is somehow ethically inappropriate.


    1. Foxgoose is quite adamant about just which conspiracy theory he holds. And he's not about to let facts get in his way no matter how much evidence there is to support those facts (not even when fellow conspiracy theorists confirm the facts).

      Foxgoose is a goose alright. He's not the only one.


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