Thursday, 5 May 2011

(UN)Skeptical Science

Science by definition is skeptical so the title of this site is a redundancy. 

Here are some opinions of John Cook’s site. Here we get sceptical about skepticalscience.

Cringe-inducing; Embarrassing; Opinionated disdain.....

Joanne Nova has written about Skeptical Science:
(Un)Skeptical Science uses unmeasureable fudge factorsUn-Skeptical Science was trying to explain why climate sensitivity is high. The post includes formula’s and fancy graphs, and looks authoritative — yet underlying everything are errors of reasoning that nullify all the points that rest upon them. Things like assumptions about linearity (which means more or less, they make the mistake of assuming that all forcings and feedbacks operate at similar ratios and strengths when the planet is an iceball as they do when Earth hits a rare warm phase). An unmeasureable variable is the telltale signature of a fudge-factor. It is what you make of it. Fits better in a course analyzing postmodernistic intertexuality of Swahili neo-linguists.    More HERE

Maurizio Morabito has written re Skeptical Science:

25 03 2010
I was meaning to write about the cringe-inducing website called “Skeptical Science” and today’s Revkin’s piece at dotEarth finally pushed me forward.
I feel embarrassment for John Cook, Skeptical Science author, for two reasons (neither concerning his rather disturbing photograph). First of all the very existence of such a site seems to be a loud scream at all that has gone wrong with the IPCC. If Mr Cook feels it necessary to spend as much time as he does on the topic, obviously he should be the first one to agree that the IPCC has been a communication failure. (not that he’s really any better himself at that: by stating that “eventually, the scientific reality will be so in our faces that inaction will be impossible“, Cook is confirming that “the scientific realityis currently notso in our faces” as his scholarly lists of scientific papers appear to suggest)
The second reason I find Skeptical Science a disaster is that all it is ever going to tell us is that AGW is a self-consistent theory and there has been plenty of papers written on the topic. That can only highlight what will forever be missing: the science that was prevented to be published, the open questions, the competing claims within AGW orthodoxy.
In fact, one of the comments at dotEarth (#15) pretty much reveals the kind of person that would find the Skeptical Science site of high interest. The point is not to understand the world as it is, but to accumulate evidence for one’s own rationalization of what the world is presumed to be. Hence no space for any doubt whatsoever of any sort, not even for competing AGW interpretations, let alone for non-orthodox scientists (by definition, their work is “crap“).
Simplicius (*) would have been proud of that. “Science” it is not.
John Droz Jr. writes:

I was recently informed of a website called “Skeptical Science” run by a Mr. John Cook. As a scientist (physicist), I decided to check it out to see what I could learn. I started with the assumption that Mr. Cook was a competent and well-intentioned person. After some looking around there, here’s what I found out and concluded.
The first red flag is the fact that Science (by definition) is skeptical, so why the repetition in the name? It’s something like naming a site “The attractive fashion model”.
Of more concern is the fact that (contrary to what one might be led to believe by the title) the site is actually focused against skeptical scientists — specifically those who have the temerity to question anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Hmmm.
Mr. Cook says he’s motivated by his young daughter’s future. Great — all the more reason he should want to get it right.
I was fascinated by his site’s supposedly comprehensive list of 119 reasons given by “AGW skeptics,” as well as his rather cursory dismissal of each of theseMORE HERE

Unless peer reviewed science is now accepting the ugly word “denier” in manuscripts, I’d say the “science” of this article shown above comes from John’s own opinionated disdain of people who have a different viewpoint on the science, and not any peer reviwed literature.
I at one time applauded John Cook for what I called “his scholarly demeanor”. Since he has clearly descended from that position (with his blog content from John Bruno), I now withdraw any such praise. – Anthony
Addendum: I should add that what is doubly insulting to me is that the author of the content on John Cook’s website, John Bruno, came up to me after my presentation in Brisbane, where he acted as compatriot to Ove Hoegh-Guldberg (which John Bruno runs the website “climateshifts” of) who made a fool of himself by abusing his rights as an audience member. Bruno told me how he respected my tone and my right to say it. He also said to me that I seemed “more open” than other people he’s talked to that are on the skeptical side.  MORE HERE
Czech Physicist Lobos Motl also addresses it HERE
Roger Pielke Senior addresses Skeptical Science HERE Misinformation on the Skeptical Science Website.

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