Thursday, May 2, 2013

How Fake Skeptics Approach Science - Throw Away Inconvenient Data

Sou | 6:24 PM Go to the first of 3 comments. Add a comment
There's a good example of deception, double-think and double standards on WUWT today.  First by Steve McIntyre who wants to remove data he finds inconvenient, and not for the first time.  (Remember how the Auditor wanted to remove some responses to the Lewandowsky survey because he decided, on no evidence whatsoever, that they were 'fake'?)

Don't like what the data shows?  Hide it, get rid of it, throw it away say the Fake Skeptics

Apparently McIntyre is obsessing about proxy data from the PAGES 2k study.  He wants to remove some proxy data that he doesn't like on the very spurious grounds that they 'must be' contaminated.

No contamination

Nick Stokes points out that there was no evidence of contamination.  On the contrary, Nick writes that studies indicated "that the pollen count did in fact document climate change over the last millenia".  Not only that, but wanting to ignore data you don't like "flies in the face of what McIntyre wrote elsewhere".  He quotes McIntyre writing only a few days ago:
Perhaps the greatest single difference between being a “real climate scientist” and policies recommended here is that “real climate scientists” do not hesitate in excluding data ex post because it goes the “wrong” way, a practice that is unequivocally condemned at Climate Audit...
Unequivocally condemned? McIntyre has not only 'not condemned', he himself has in the past advocated throwing away inconvenient data and even criticised real scientists who refused to do so - just as he is doing now.  He wants to exclude data after the fact, just because he doesn't like what it shows.

McIntyre and Watts and other fake skeptics are very quick to make exceptions to their 'rule' when they themselves reckon the data goes the "wrong" way!

Anthony Watts and his conspiracy thinking

Anthony pipes up and reiterates his opinion that if data are inconvenient to the story you want to spin, then they should be rejected on that basis alone.  He provides not a jot of 'evidence' for his assertion that the proxy is 'contaminated'.  Its hockey stick shape is enough for Anthony to decide it shouldn't be included.  Deception with more than a smidgen of conspiracy ideation:
REPLY: Oh please Nick, this is just spin. Do they teach this sort of misdirection in CSIRO wonk school, or or you simply on somebody’s payroll to be this purposely obtuse? The Igaliku proxy is in fact unlike the others, it is clearly contaminated, and clearly a hockey stick shape which suggests it was selected specifically rather than excluded. McIntyre asked you to show a similar proxy, uncontaminated, that shows a similar hockey stick shape, and so far you have ducked that call for comparison. Until you can demonstrate that, all your defensive hand waving is moot. – Anthony

Just whose hands are doing the waving?

Defensive hand-waving?  Nick provided evidence to back up his position.  Tony is the one who is busy waving his hand and offering no evidence at all.  More on Tony and his hand-waving and conspiracy thinking:

  • Are you on somebody's payroll to be this purposely obtuse? 
  • Clearly a hockey stick shape which suggests it was selected specifically rather than excluded.
Fake skeptics are irrational, inconsistent and clearly not to be trusted with data.  Just as well science is done by real scientists, not by science-denying bloggers.


  1. Yes, I find this all rather odd, especially the statement "The contaminated series is readily identified as an outlier through a simple inspection of the data." If a climate scientist claimed that they could decide on the validity of a proxy by "simple inspection" they'd be derided by those who seem to think that they somehow have the special powers that allow them to simply look at some data set and decide on whether or not it is suitable.

  2. Watts,the mini wingman of Steve McI... sadly amusing as ever. I noticed in comments,he conceded [in reply to a Zeke Hausfather intercession] that he might be wrong to accuse Stokes of a conflict of interest,only to make the charge that he must have been put up to it in the same breath!

    The man is too stupid,really.


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