Sob….We’re not the popular kids any more…..

It’s the time of the year when voting for best science blog arrives and this year:

“SkepticalScience, which debunks flat-earth attacks on climate science*, has requested to be removed from consideration because it considers the whole process to be flawed.”

Flawed?  I thought peer-review was the ultimate path to the truth?  Blog awards based on nominations from actual blog readers and writers.  That’s as peer as it gets.  Oh, but then there’s that pesky “science” term.  If you’re against climate change, you’re not a scientist.  Wait…..I believe that SkepticalScience blog author fully admits to not being a climate scientist and just regurgitates what peer-reviewed journals say.  So the problem is not that there is no science–it’s that the regurgitation of science writings is not as convincing as sites that use data outside the hallowed-halls of  peer-reviewed journals.  Why?  Maybe because the skeptic arguments are actually the most compelling.  One would be completely and totally dishonest to claim scientists do not comment on and some write these skeptical blogs.  They are just not from the popular crowd over at the peer-reviewed journal joint.  Seems these new folks in town are upsetting the traditional social structure of science and that is just not to be done.

How to stop this?  One suggestion from the Daily Kos article on this was asking why not set up a panel of scientists to select the finalists.  Answer:  “The problem is finding a qualified, unbiased panel that would work for free. Most categories aren’t the type that would have experts in their field.”  What!  These experts do this for money????  I thought just skeptics were the greedy, money oriented type.  What do they mean the categories aren’t the type that have experts in their field?

As with any rejection, there were the usual sobs about a “well-financed” opposition (while the experts supporting the theory have to be PAID to defend it….interesting), people just don’t understand what is happening, and of course, the “you’ll be sorry in the end when nature drowns millions of you and fries the rest because you didn’t listen to me” threat.  Flashbacks to high school (which is better than preschool, the flashback zone for politics right now….).

Daily Kos ends with “The moral of the story is that we should not be surprised when climate skeptics win best science or even political blog. A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes. And well-financed lies travel even faster.”  Yes, the lie of climate change DID travel most of the way around the earth before the truth started to make an impact. Fortunately people with passion and not much money began exposing the climate change lie for what it is.  Much to the chagrin of the climate change scientists.

*Using an ad hominem attack while writing about science could explain why educated people are losing interest in the so-called “science” of the climate change genre.

(http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/03/05/1191805/-How-climate-skeptics-win-science-blog-awards for the Daily Kos article)

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13 comments on “Sob….We’re not the popular kids any more…..

  1. Skeptikal says:

    “You fail to take the power of blogs seriously at your own peril.”

    The sceptical thing to say is “You take blogs seriously at your own peril.”

  2. Tony Duncan says:

    Peter,

    i certainly agree with you. but ANY blog about science should have minimum standards. i am not a scientist, yet when i read things that someone like , say Moncton writes,. and I can easily refute 75% of his (mostly arrogant) assertions as being either dead wrong, or so distorting of science that his conclusions are meaningless, then allowing him to post garbage on a site pretty much excludes them, in my view, of the label of scientific. . As I said, there ARE skeptical sites. such as Curry, and Pielke, who are scientists and who generally do not post ridiculous or blatantly scientifically wrong articles. I would say that they would qualify. WUWT, or Steve Goddard, or Delingpole, or Jo nova, in my view has so many gross errors in science that they are mere political propoganda sites. just as I don;t think creationist sites would deserve the mantal of biology form a scientific perspective.
    peter I have frequently commented on SKS, and amost always gotten very informative answers taht were clearexplanations about issues i was not aware of. initially I posted about things I read on Deneir sites, and was very happy to be shown actual science that completely contradicted the psuedo science being psoted by them My biggest complaint with denier sites ( and why I continue to use the term, in spite of it being considered an insult) is the lack of almost any scepticism of claims AGAISNT ACC. as long as a comment opposes ACC i rarely see any disagereement. I think this is why there is not “counter” to ACC theoretically, becuase if there WAS a specific theory that tried to explain empirical facts without considerend CO2 having a major impact, then it would quickly be shown to be full of holes. So the strategy is to use any attack on ACC that maight undermine it, wether it is consisstant with other science or not.

    I do not see the maisntream ACC blogs refuses to acknowledge other viewpoints. in fact I see disagreements by scientists on a host of isseus related to climate change. But they are not arguing whetehr evolution is real or not, and they are not arguing whetehr atoms are made out of protons neutrons and electrons. When you are arguing about those things in Biology or physics then you “aren’t doing or serving real science in any way, you are actively hindering it.”

  3. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Any blog which is purportedly about any aspect of science, should value contrasting viewpoints, and be able to either refute them or admit that the contrasting viewpoint has merit. This should be done in preferably a dispassionate, scientific manner, and ideally should even lead to ideas for new experiments, new theories, new tests, and new papers.

    By altering or censoring science-based alternative viewpoints or questions, you do science a great disservice. Not ALL “warmist” blogs do this, but I have had this experience on many of them. Not all “skeptical” blogs are welcoming of opposing viewpoints either, but I have had much better experience with those.

    Science is very often the consideration of multiple hypotheses to describe the same phenomenon, and the attempt to scientifically evaluate which of the multiple hypotheses comes the closest to describing what is actually happening in reality. If you willfully suppress alternative viewpoints and hypotheses rather than truly attempting to validate or invalidate them logically and scientifically, you aren’t doing or serving real science in any way, you are actively hindering it.

  4. Skeptikal says:

    Tony Duncan says:

    Finally I see no reason why SKS should not remove itself form consideration for a bloggie.

    I absolutely agree with you. Considering that the ‘denier’ vote is going to be split 4 ways, the embarrassment, to the single/lone activist finalist, of losing would be unbearable. Far better for them to face the ridicule of withdrawing than having to face the humiliation of defeat.

    you surely realize that the subset of people who scrutinize political or climate blogs are a tiny subset of people in general and of scientists in particular

    You must surely realise that blogs are becoming the NEW media. More and more people are turning away from the highly sanitised main stream media. Blogs are not just some oddity for people to “scrutinize”. For a lot of people, blogs are their primary source of information. You fail to take the power of blogs seriously at your own peril.

  5. I am going to try once more to answer your comments. First, I did not initiate this post–I write in response to what is being said about skeptics, whether is be calling them flat-earthers, deniers, conspiracy theorists, etc. That was clearly stated when I began this blog. Much of what I write is based on entries in “Watching the Deniers”. Repeatedly, I get smacked for not following science. Hello—I am writing in response to those watching the deniers. If you don’t like my topics, complain to those who write this stuff and demand more science. I write in response to what warmest bloggers and news media say about skeptics.

    Okay–one lie at SkS: CAGW actually exists. I cannot address that in one post and you know that. It’s like asking you to prove in one comment that skeptics lie saying CAGW does not exist. You go first.

    The way one determines scientific validity sans peer review is to read widely, ask questions, think things through and make a decision. Even if you cannot do calculous, you can look at the methods used in the scientific research, the answers given to questions asked, and so forth. If I go to a doctor who tells me I have stage 4 cancer and need massive surgeries, do I just hop on the operating table? NO! I read, I get a second, third, maybe forth opinion. I may not understand fully what each tells me, but I can compare what each tells me, I can watch for evasive behaviour on the part of the doctor when I ask questions, I can read other’s ideas and experiences (yes, even “non-exerts” can yield useful information, even if by accident). Then, I decide if I want to hop on that table. Whether or not our society still functions at a level where people can actually think at that level, I don’t know. But if we don’t, the dark ages of science are upon us. We are open to all kinds of charlatans with degrees pretending to be scientists (like Dr. Oz).

    Politics is not about science–it’s about winning elections. Lying, cheating, stealing, whatever it takes. People will say whatever they think the clueless people voting for them want to hear (Please explain how you came to decide Mitt Romney was functionally insane. I’m serious. I would like to know the reasoning you used to reach that conclusion. It’s a thought process I don’t really understand.) Companies are the same. Green and sustainable are two IDIOTIC terms people have been talked into believing have some meaning other than “buy my product, you sap. We’re a good company because we care”. I try not to buy from them whenever possible. None of any of this has anything to do with science except the science of marketing.

    As for the SkS withdrawal, that was their choice. Daily Kos seemed to think it was a tragedy and that was what I wrote in response to.

  6. Tony Duncan says:

    Peter b,

    you are engaging in rather meaningless statements. I do not accept statementf form anyone, scientist or not, unless I get an analysis from other qualified people who either confirm or show how the statement is not accurate.
    the fact that SKS moderates, as does Real science in the ways you describe COULD be dodgy. i cna see ways that could be used to mischaracterize, but in my experience with both sites, i have not seen that happen. Alleging something is very different from providing actual examples that illustrate the point. if you are going to say SKS is unrelaible bcuase they do not post commmetns that show their conclusions or analysis to be unscientific, please give me an example.
    I have been banned form one denier site, at first temporarily and now apparently permanently, and it was clearly becuase I was pointing out absolutely ridiculous assertions that they did not want their echo chamber to see. Would be happy to point those out to you. I actually think it was silly to ban me, becuase his followers believed anything he told them, whether it was the truth or just totally made up. My insertion of reality did nothing to dissaude any of the commenters

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Tony,

      Do a test for yourself. Post comments on SkS totally agreeing with whatever they say, and do so enthusiastically and see how many get censored. Then post comments asking perfectly valid scientifically based questions which legitimately question what they are saying, and see how many of those make it past moderation.

      I think you will find it enlightening. Other people such as Stephen Mosher have done this, and had VERY interesting results.

  7. Tony Duncan says:

    REALITY,
    comparing “peer reviewed” science with a popularity contest for a blog is just propoganda. Who “wins” a bloggie on science has nothing to do with which blog has tha most accurate science in it. If you wanted to determine which blog had the most accurate science how else would you determine that fact unless it was scientists making that determination.
    I certainly think that both science as it is practiced and peer review have serious deficiencies that should be addresse, but “bloggies” as any sort of assessment of actual validity of the science on a blog is plain ludicrous.
    Obama got the majority of votes in the last election, and i doubt you believe that that means his policies must be correct. he only reason i voted for him is becuase the alternative, was functionally insane. I think his policies are lukewarm to somewaht aweful in certain cases, but the fact that I have an opinion and i voted in no way makes me an expert on the reality of the administrations policies.
    If huffington Post wins the best political site, does that mean it is the most accurate or insightful blog about politics? of course not.

    Reality , I have numerous times asked you to back up statments you have made that I thought were unsupported assertions. I am not aware of you doing so in any subtantive way.
    The idea that you cannot find ONE lie on Skeptical science if it is in fact anti scientific and distroting the science is ludicrous. If you want I will be happy to look at the bloggie nominee of your choice and find some recent instance of distorting or completely misrepresenting the science.
    the two common sites that have some respectibility are Judith Curries and Roger Pielke Jr. In my opinion, while I often disagree with some of their contention sor conclusions, they are valid science sites and worthy of considertaion, since in my experience they do not propose blatantly ridiculous explanations, as do WUWT, Steve Goddard, Jo Nova, Delingpole and a long list of other blatantly deneir sites.

    Reality, What IS your way to determine scientific validity outside peer review? you totally mischaraterize it in your above comment. Peer review has little to do with anyone “voting” it is actual comments and analysis of the content of the research being reviewed, and compared to know established science and to other research that is related to it. There are actual objective criteria that can be applied, and the vast majority of scientists that I know, are rather uninterested in “voting” and much more interested in finding out accuracy and insight from research.

    you are right “warmists” are not winning the popularity contest of people who spend their days scrutinizing political blogs. If you know anything about statistics you surely realize that the subset of people who scrutinize political or climate blogs are a tiny subset of people in general and of scientists in particular, and I would guess especially of climate scientists even more.

    Why should warmists find a way to make accurate science blogs more popular? What if they could do so by lying and distorting evidence and presenting innacurate data? Would that make them better, if that was what was required? Would that be an improvement on scientiifc understanding?

    I would argue that warmists “ARE” winning in terms of general acceptance of ACC. Denier blogs can only slow down government action. And they have done an excellent job of hijacking the republican party to that effect. You do know that McCain, Graham, Gingrich, Romney and numeorus others supported cliamte change legislation until about 2009? Can you tell me what scientific infortmation caused them to do an about face on the issues. I can tell you, I have read all their comments. NOT ONE scientific piece of new information changed their minds. What changed their minds was the understading that it was politically untenable to be nominated for president if one supported the idea.
    Yet companies across the country are implementing policies to limit CO2 emissions, a major one being Wal-mart. Insurance companies are implementing guidelinnes for insurance that take ACC into account, local communitieds are increasing policies related to CO2, in SPITe of a severe economic situation. THAT voting has been increasing over the last 4 years. I hardly consider insurance companies to be hotbeds of socialist activity.

    And i am or may not stick around. if you indeed Do post that that really DO indicate the shaky foundations of Climate change I will be happy to consider their validity. If you continue to post meanigless demagoguery such as this., i will quickly lose interest.

    Finally I see no reason why SKS should not remove itself form consideration for a bloggie. If the only science sites that will accept such awards are deneir sites and if it becoems clearer to the hosters of the bloggies that anti scientific sties winning awards resutls in controversy that is not conducive to their popularity, then they might consider different ways to look at science blogs.

  8. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    If I say, “your theory is flawed, because your model predicts a decrease in energy loss at TOA, but real data from 1979-2012 show an increase in energy loss at TOA of 1.6 W/m^2”, then I am engaging in valid scientific criticism.

    If I say “you are funded by big oil and parroting what they want you to say” then I am NOT engaging in valid scientific criticism.

    Scan the blogs, see which ones engage in the former, and which ones engage in the latter, and it will tell you which blogs are truly science-based and which are not.

  9. Tony Duncan says:

    Real,

    up until this point I have tried to take you seriously. You have stated some things that indicate an actual skeptical view toward science on both sides, and while you have stated some unsupportable unscientific opinions in other posts, this is just foolish and total propoganda.
    So what exactly are the specific “lies” that Skeptical science has told in their blog. What unscientific things have been posted there? I can rather quickly point out unscientific and distorted science in pretty much any of the skeptical blogs, so please explain to me why Skeptical science is worse and less deserving of best science blog than the other nominees.
    The idea that people on the internet “voting” on the best blog in some category is “peer reviewed” is just, I shall put it mildly, “hogwash”
    I have an appointment but I will explain more fully in a few hours.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      If you watch the website Skeptical Science carefully, you will notice the comments not only get deleted by the mods, but sometimes the mods amend or extend comments. I can sorta understand deleting comments, but making actual changes to comments by amending or extending them so that they no longer say what was originally said by the commenter is dodgy at best.

      Further, Skeptical Science will make undated, undocumented changes to their posts after significant comments have been made, which is also dodgy.

      As such, I find the site to be highly questionable.

    • I will await Tony’s further comment. I cannot possibly answer what lies climate change has perpetrated over the course of the last 50 years in one comment section. SkS reports the peer-reviewed studies by approved journals. I have addressed my belief that peer-review is not a valid way to ascertain scientific truth.
      I have also made it clear that not all my posts are on science itself, but rather the behaviour on both sides of the debate.
      What is “peer-reviewed” if not one’s peers voting in the most popular ideas? How do you define “peer-reviewed”? I find most warmists want to say science is the only “peer” out there and use it to decide what is and is not acceptable. This best science blog award is flat out a popularity contest. That is all it is. Warmists are not winning and they seem upset. If this is bothersome, find a way to make the warmest sites more popular and stop blaming skeptics for this. Skeptics are better bloggers, it seems. Or have a better cheering section for warmists sites.
      You are welcome to abandon the blog if you like. I have been doing research and will write more on the shaky foundations of climate change science when I have completed the research. You can stick around and critique my positions, or not. I write about what I read and see. Sometimes, you’re not going to like it. It’s the nature of this subject.

  10. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Warmist: “Sure, we get a crapton of money, but it is all GOVERNMENT MONEY, so it is PURE!!!”

    Warmist 2: “We know those darn deniers… err… I mean skeptics, get barely any money at all, but if we continually CLAIM they get craptons of IMPURE money from BIG OIL and BIG TOBACCO the sheeple… err… I mean the general populace… will believe it!

    Warmist: Yeah, nevermind the fact that we get about 800 times more money from GOVERNMENTS than the deniers… err… skeptics get from anywhere at all, that doesn’t matter.

    Warmist 2: I sure hope that the next global warming party… err… climate convention… is in Hawaii instead of someplace like Copenhagen… why the hell would we have a global warming party… err.. climate convention in Copenhagen in FEBRUARY! A, it is too cold to properly party, and B, if it is cold and snowy the deniers… err… skeptics just laugh at us hysterically!

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