The analysis of speech

By Stephan Lewandowsky
Professor, School of Experimental Psychology and Cabot Institute, University of Bristol
Posted on 9 April 2014

What constitutes legitimate analysis of speech?

This question has been brought into sharp focus by the most recent position of the journal Frontiers that they put out last Friday. This statement claimed that our paper Recursive Fury (uwa.edu.au/recursivefury), had been retracted because it “did not sufficiently protect the rights of the studied subjects.” This seemingly stands in contrast to the contractually-agreed retraction statement, signed by legal representatives of the journal and the authors, that Frontiers “…did not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study.”

It is helpful that the Frontiers affair involved two contrasting ways in which speech was being used by the various participants. Let us therefore analyze those two ways in turn.

The complainant(s).

Although we have destroyed all correspondence and documents involving the allegations against us at the request of Frontiers, and although now, a year later, our recollection of those events is minimal, Graham Readfearn has put something about the allegations into the public domain that has received little attention to date.

Readfearn states that the complaints against us alleged “malice” on the part of the authors in various ways. As far as I understand it, malice is a legal term meaning an improper motive in making a statement; and, if proved in Court, removes some defenses to charges of defamation.

In the present context, it is most relevant that the accusations of malice against John Cook, one of the authors of Recursive Fury, were based on his apparent sanctioning of “vile commentary” against the complainant and other bloggers.

Indeed, the material cited in support contains irate statements that none of the authors of Recursive Fury would countenance.

None of the authors made those statements.

One will fail to find anything like those comments on Cook’s blog, www.skepticalscience.com: None of the more than 88,000 public comments posted there to date contain anything that could be remotely construed as vitriolic or polemical—that’s because 7000 comments were deleted by moderators owing to their inflammatory content.

So where did the “vile commentary” come from and how did John Cook “sanction” it?

The vile commentary was made by third parties unconnected to Recursive Fury on a private forum that was password-protected, and whose purpose was to permit open and completely uncensored discussion among a small group of collaborators. Those comments were posted in the expectation of privacy, and they became public only through a criminal act—a hack attack on Skepticalscience that has been explored in great forensic depth.

John Cook neither wrote those comments, nor could he be reasonably expected to moderate them. They were made in private and became public by an illegal act by parties unknown.

What John did was to host a private forum on which other people vented their anger. If that is malice, then so would be inopportune comments by your friends at an illegally wire-tapped dinner party. You better censor what your guests say in case your next party is bugged, lest you be accused of malice.

The complainant’s conduct follows a common pattern in the Subterranean War on Science: Use of private correspondence obtained by an illegal act to construct allegations against scientists. Except that in this case, to allege malice against John Cook, hackers trolled through two years of his private conversations and found exactly nothing.

Zip. Zilch. Bupkis.

All the hackers and trolls could find were other parties expressing anger in the expectation of privacy. I cannot think of clearer evidence for the absence of malice in John Cook’s conduct.

I nonetheless think there might be evidence of malice here.

Maybe some readers can spot it.

The authors of Recursive Fury.

Recursive Fury was conducted with ethics approval (of course!) and Frontiers entered into a contractual agreement for the retraction that noted that their review “…did not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study”.

And what did Recursive Fury do? It presented a narrative analysis of public discourse in the blogosphere in the aggregate. We did not categorize anyone into anything, we categorized statements.

That’s all.

This is the difference between saying "Joe is a racist" and saying "When Joe and Fred get together in a bar at night their discourse contains racist elements based on application of the following scholarly criteria." Now, we could have withheld the sources of all those statements, thereby anonymizing the analysis and protecting the identity of those who feel that their public statements are too fragile to survive scholarly scrutiny.

However, we considered this unwise in light of the pervasive allegations against (climate) scientists that they are “hiding data.”

Folks, we did not hide the data.

We made them all available. And they are still here: uwa.edu.au/recursivefury.

By the way, there are ample precedents for this kind of work, including other hot-button issues such as anti-Semitism. Yes, there is a scholarly paper out there that analyzes the public speeches of contemporary Austrian politicians for their anti-Semitic undertones. (I am not linking to that study here, lest the researcher be caught up in the turmoil of requests for his/her data, or requests to destroy the data, or requests to provide ethics approval, or his/her entire email correspondence during the last 13 years.)

Here then is the crucial question about the analysis of speech that arises from the Frontiers affair:

Are public statements by people who knowingly made them in public, subject to scholarly analysis? Or is it only stolen correspondence by third parties made in the expectation of privacy that can be used to allege malice on the part of someone who never said anything malicious himself?

In Whose Hands the Future?

Bookmark and Share

183 Comments


Prev  1  2  3  Next

Comments 51 to 100 out of 104:

  1. Darrell Harb at 21:53 PM on 10 April, 2014
    I'm not even going near the Harb/Keyes conspiracy theory [? sub-Bergeracian ventriloquism theory?]!

    Comedy is like your favorite snowflake. Look but don't touch, lest it deliquesce at the observer's brutish caress.
  2. Darrell Harb at 22:00 PM on 10 April, 2014
    "Scientific consensus is evidence-based."
    Response: this is a contingent claim about the group psychology of humans. (Any suggestion that it has even the slightest analytical or definitional power or merit would be a sad lie.)

    It is naive, copiously falsified by history (to the extent that anyone before Oreskes even tried to quantify consensus among scientists), and should be put out of its misery.
  3. The only person who I've come across who is hung up on the topic of scientific consensus (till now, maybe) was Brad Keyes. He makes a habit of raising the subject on the (thankfully now rare) occasions when our paths cross.

    He first got into a extended word game on the subject here at ShapingTomorrowsWorld, not just with me but with anyone who'd give him the time of day.
  4. Darrell Harb at 22:09 PM on 10 April, 2014
    "Scientific consensus is evidence-based."

    The above proposition, I suppose I should add, is not nearly as egregious (or funny) as the idea Sou has been known to shop around, which is that the word "consensus" genuinely, honest-to-god referred in some way to some quantum or bolus of evidence.

    If Sou really has given that idea up, then the world just became a less mirthful place. But I would be obliged to congratulate her, I suppose. *Grumble grumble*

    :-(

    Well done.

    For killing the laughter.

    I hope you're happy.
  5. Darrell Harb at 22:15 PM on 10 April, 2014
    He first got into a extended word game on the subject here at ShapingTomorrowsWorld, not just with me but with anyone who'd give him the time of day.
    Hmmm. I've noticed that people who can't think very well really loathe the games of which the rest of us grew up with nothing but fond memories.

    Really. They loathe and dread such classic word games as Let's Use The Right Word!, Let's Speak English!, and of course, the bane of their existence: Let's Speak English Properly!
  6. Darrell Harb at 22:24 PM on 10 April, 2014
    The only person who I've come across who is hung up on the topic of scientific consensus (till now, maybe) was Brad Keyes.
    Thank your lucky stars you never came across Naomi Oreskes then. Her career has subsisted on that empty calorie for a decade now, and counting.
  7. Sounds just like Brad. I've never raised the subject myself - the subject has always been brought up by Brad putting some words or other into my mouth, and harking back to his own multiple comments here from a couple of years ago. And he does it in just the same manner and using very similar words to those used by his clone Darrell here today.
  8. Stephan, may I make a suggestion?

    On your comments policy page you could usefully add the following point:

    • Posting on Shaping Tomorrow's World is an explicit and unconditional granting of permission for the blog owner to use as data for his professional research, at any time and in any manner, any and all comments posted.
  9. Darrell Harb at 22:30 PM on 10 April, 2014
    Should I feel flattered by the comparison/equation?
  10. Darrell Harb at 22:35 PM on 10 April, 2014
    Bernard J,

    think bigger, man! Make the clause... retroactive.

    Eh? Eh? That's what I'm talking about.
  11. Darrell Harb.

    If you think that's ethical then put your case to Stephan Lewandowsky.
  12. EFS

    So now we have established that

    a) you don't know who hacked the site and
    b) I don't know who hacked the site.

    Dr. Lewandowsky's position on the other hand is the one that remains unclear. He is the person who pointed to Steve McIntyre's use of the phrase "vile commentary." And he is also the person who wrote, "to allege malice against John Cook, hackers trolled through two years of his private conversations and found exactly nothing."

    The question is any easy one to answer. Did he intend to imply that Steve McIntyre hacked the SKS forum?
  13. #66 Harb - how is that proposition different from the short, clear Scientific consensus is evidence-based?

    Do you really think that from proof of the Pythagoràs theorem there can be no consensus on the truth of that theorem?

    The evidence you provide, or rather: are, raises consensus on the value of Lewandowsky's studies. Do you think this is just a coincidence?
  14. #69 well, Sou, who cares. I never named, nor numbered, bolusses anyway, even if they all smell slightly differently. Pong is pong.
  15. Darrell Harb at 23:36 PM on 10 April, 2014
    Hang on cRR, I've been responding to Bernard J's thoughtful suggestion.

    Well, Bernard J, there's ethical and there's ethical.

    I'd hazard that retroactive comment-harvesting would be at least as ethical as passing oneself off as an expert in the psychology of a group whose company one avoids, and with whom one unabashedly states that "Engagement, in my view, is not a solution but just an enormous waste of time"—words that no self-respecting psychologist, anthropologist or even primatologist has been caught dead saying. Until *cough* rather recently.

    Or, to look at it another way: if one contemplates the morality of professing (or Professing) to seek to know what motivates a particular group of people, drawing a paycheck in that general rôle, and finally announcing the answer to national media outlets and the scientific world without once having paid the people you're studying the courtesy of ASKING them what motivates them, then a time-travelling blog policy almost sounds morally kosher.

    You know... by comparison.
  16. Darrell Harb at 23:41 PM on 10 April, 2014
    cRR:
    #66 Harb - how is that proposition different from the short, clear Scientific consensus is evidence-based?
    It's not—it's the same sentence, verbatim (isn't it)?

    My comment #66 was an addendum. I was still referring to the same sentence, but making a point I'd previously forgotten to make about it.
  17. Darrell Harb at 23:56 PM on 10 April, 2014
    Do you really think that from proof of the Pythagoràs theorem there can be no consensus on the truth of that theorem?
    No. Backwards. I think—I know, in fact—that from the consensus on the truth of Pythagoras' theorem you cannot, via any propositional alchemy known to man, distil proof of the theorem's truth.
    The evidence you provide, or rather: are, raises consensus on the value of Lewandowsky's studies.
    Huh? The sum total of relevant data I've either supplied or "been" on this thread so far is a paragraph written by BBD that ticks every box in the "diagnostic criteria" for conspiratorial ideation.
    Do you think this is just a coincidence?
    It could be—maybe BBD was just having a bad day. Or maybe he's a nutter. Do you really want my amateur guess?
  18. Well conspiracy theory deniers look over here;

    http://europepmc.org/articles/PMC3600613/reload=0;jsessionid=GC5LnyMeYaQ3oLjUFnnJ.20
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3600613/

    What do you see?

    But more importantly, what don't you see?

    Hint, it has something to do with a certain blog post as opposed to an "official" in print retraction notice. As of 10 April 2014, a certain blog post has not appeared as an "official" in print retraction notice. But stay tuned, that too may change.
  19. #79 Harb - "... from the consensus on the truth of Pythagoras' theorem you cannot, via any propositional alchemy known to man, distil proof of the theorem's truth."

    Clever, as if we didn't know. And we can therefore see so easily your misconception - or straw man. I'll venture the latter. Evidence leads to consensus but you are the one who turns this around (and then, of course, you project the nuttery on us. Ghost rider syndrome).

    Your logical alchemy entails taking equivalence, left implication and right implication to be synonymous. This bizarre thinking underlies much of Lewandowsky's finds because it gets you to have to believe in any nutty conspiracy theory of the day.
  20. Darrell Harb at 00:30 AM on 11 April, 2014
    cRR, might you be asking me how this:
    the short, clear "Scientific consensus is evidence-based"
    differs from the belief that the word "consensus" refers to some dosage, quota or arrangement of evidence?

    It differs so completely that it'd be quicker to say what the two propositions have in common.

    In the former case ("Scientific consensus is evidence-based"), one is making a touchingly optimistic, heroically reductionistic, childlike generalisation about the group psychology of all upright apes of a specified profession. The proposition has the same form as a law of nature, but it would be grotesquely silly to imagine it therefore had the same truth status. Scientists aren't evidence-droids, and you know they aren't, so such a "law of nature" is not even believable a priori—not to mention that scientific history furnishes an entire museum of empirical falsifications.

    So it's then simply a question of exactly how weakly, vaguely and loosely the statement was intended to be understood. "Most scientific consensuses tend to be more or less evidence-based or at least evidence-themed," perhaps? OK, well that might be "correct." It's also a vapid waste of good phonemes.

    And don't look to the behavioural sciences for quantification of the real-world correctness of this insipid platitude. Unfortunately, scientists don't tend to take opinion polls. Even the ideas we presume enjoyed consensus at one point—the idea that gastric ulcers were entirely non-infectious, for example—may not have commanded the unanimity we think. Nobody really knows. Presumably there's always been one or two doctors who didn't believe it—but we will never achieve much more precision than that, absent time-travel technology.

    Why not?

    Because until Naomi Oreskes was spawned by Lucifer, nobody gave a shit what percentage of scientists "agreed" on any given particle of science. Nobody measured. Nobody voted. That kind of tiddliwinks has always been—and will always be—beneath the dignity of scientists.

    In the latter case, one merely needs to do what Sou refused to do: buy a god damned dictionary. "Consensus" is one of the most inelastic words in the entire English tongue. It means majority opinion. End of story.
  21. You know... by comparison.


    No, that would be "by straw man".

    ...amongst a few other things.

    I can see why people compare you to 'Brad Keyes'.
  22. #82 Harb, no I might not, as I supplied for you some answer.

    "... differs from the belief that the word "consensus" refers to some dosage, quota or arrangement of evidence?"

    That's what I told you. You do not have tell us. You need to accept it yourself and quit fantasing about the meaning of consensus.
    Scientific consensus is evidence-based refers to a cause of, and for, consensus. From mounting evidence ensues scientific consensus, like proof of a mathematical theorem results in consensus on the truth of that theorem.

    Maybe consensus is your special obsession, but otherwise, just talk evidence, okay.

    "The proposition has the same form as a law of nature..." - I AM impressed by this spin and that means something indeed because my verbal talents measure at the very pinnacle tenths of percent of population...

    By the way, was your automarginalization on that ugly blackish site too hard on you, Brad? What's with you, couldn't you resist falling back into your old style anymore? You know, honesty is so much easier to sustain, try it.
  23. Darrell Harb at 00:58 AM on 11 April, 2014
    (For now I'm going to have to pass over your allusion to "Brad's" "blackish site", because I honestly don't know what, or where on the Internet, it is. Do you have a URL?)

    Evidence leads to consensus but you are the one who turns this around (and then, of course, you project the nuttery on us. Ghost rider syndrome).
    Oh, I'm the one who came up with the grubby scam of using consensus as evidence, am I?

    LOL! That's rich. That notion raises exactly one question, cRR: Have you heard of something called the "climate change debate"? Rather popular in some quarters, I hear. They may have mentioned it in your local newspaper a couple of years ago.

    You really need to stop worrying about all the retarded things "skeptics" are saying (newsflash: most people are morons, including "skeptics") and pay more attention to the burst hydrant that's been raining pseudoscientific chunder down on your side of the street for the last, oh, 20 years.

    Watch closely.

    1. Evidence leads to consensus. (Right? Right?)

    2. Oh look, according to this demeaning survey we made grown scientists fill out, there's majority agreement on something. Bingo—that's consensus!

    3. But where did it come from? Hmm. Well, evidence leads to consensus, right? So then, the consensus must have come from evidence, right? (Basic. Just basic logic.)

    4. So there must be evidence.

    5. So we should Believe. Because there's Evidence, and that's the Scientific thing to do.

    See what I just did, cRR? (I hope so because this is, like, Climate Alarmism 101 dude. They could train Sou to do this if they really tried.)

    I just pulled evidence (or more precisely, A Reason To Believe) out of a fucking hat. All I had was a bunch of scientists who thought something was true! That's literally the only ingredient I needed. That's all you need to have in order to fleece scientifically-illiterate rubes with this amazing magic trick.

    And I give it to you... for free.
  24. "Oh, I'm the one who came up with the grubby scam of using consensus as evidence, am I?"

    Yes. And again.
  25. Darrell Harb at 01:08 AM on 11 April, 2014
    Just in case this wasn't quite explicit enough:

    The scientists in Step 2 were opining, as far as the magician is concerned. They were just fecklessly speculating, or they may as well have been—the magic trick works equally well with or without a scintilla of evidence. For all I care, they could have filled the opinion survey out randomly.
  26. Darrell Harb at 01:14 AM on 11 April, 2014
    "Oh, I'm the one who came up with the grubby scam of using consensus as evidence, am I?"

    Yes. And again.
    Dude, I can only tell you this so many times before I lose interest in your betterment: forget the "skeptics." They/we don't matter. Their/our whole discourse is a distraction, a red herring, in scientific terms.

    Pay attention to your "own" "side's" rhetoric for once in your life.

    And what's the URL of the site where someone marginalised you or something? (You lost me there.)
  27. DGH,

    Here's the difference between how two people view the spoken/written language, figuratively or literally.

    In the present case you have taken the quote quite literally, while I have always taken "hackers trolled" figuratively.

    That means that while McIntyre is most certainly a troll (and a rather small one, down there, under the denier bridge, that is), and that SkS was indeed hacked, McIntyre quite clearly lacks the hacker skillz, other than receiving said hacked goodz from somewhere/someone/somehow, and then McIntyre and/or hackerz cherry picked and quote mined said hacked goodz.

    Did he intend to imply that Steve McIntyre hacked the SKS forum?

    You tell me.

    Did he say that McIntyre hacked the SkS forum?

    No.
  28. Darrell Harb? Pah! You're not fooling anyone - ALL HERR BRAD.
  29. One of the indicators of the usefulness of consensus is who it excludes. The geocentric consensus of the solar system fell apart when observations to the contrary led to the current consensus on heliocentric model and beyond. The current consensus would exclude those still clinging to the former due to the preponderance of evidence in its favour, and no scientist (or laypeople) now would have difficulty in accepting the later consensus. Just as with AGW.

    The only people trying to undermine the consensus are those directed to by the likes of Frank Luntz and his cohorts and deniers for whom it's an inconvenient fact that they have no evidence to effectively counter that consensus. Not that there aren't any number of futile attempts, viz. BradHarbs doing their tired old black is white routine (not forgetting their obligatory impotent jeer at Naomi Oreskes) which change nothing, although it's very amusing when they pontificate on the opinions they think scientists should hold.
  30. Darrell Harb at 02:21 AM on 11 April, 2014
    I wouldn't waste my valuable time trying to undermine a consensus, because a consensus is an opinion and opinions are like anuses in science, only less interesting.
    The only people trying to undermine the consensus are those directed to by the likes of Frank Luntz and his cohorts and deniers for whom it's an inconvenient fact that they have no evidence to effectively counter that consensus.
    Sigh. Listen. You don't need evidence to "counter a consensus." A consensus is just opinion. Value: $0.00. You can "counter" such stuff with puppydog tails, fairy dust, good intentions and a child's imagination.

    This is remedial stuff guys. If you people are still flunking Science 101 after 20 years, maybe science isn't for you. Have you considered a rewarding career in the humanities or living on welfare?
  31. Darrell Harb at 02:25 AM on 11 April, 2014
    The only people trying to undermine the consensus are those directed to by the likes of Frank Luntz and his cohorts and deniers
    Aaand we have a new contender for king of conspiracists. BBD's crown will be resting on a troubled brow tonight, folks!
  32. No, you don't BradHarb.
    You just can't read or think clearly.
  33. With time to waste I looked up the reviewer that A Scott claims for his version of some or other events that A Scott reckons implies "something must be wrong" - though he doesn't say what, except for his insinuation that whatever "it" was it was the authors who did "something wrong". The reviewer turns out to be Michael Wood according to A Scott.

    Now this is the same Michael Wood I believe, who just happens to have cited Recursive Fury in a positive light in a subsequent paper of his own (along with the moon landing paper). So he can't have found too much wrong with it.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703523/

    (Did A Scott ask Michael Wood for *all* his data I wonder?)

    That paper is interesting in the context of the comments here (and below every blog article on the internet where the words Recursive Fury appear) from the half dozen key players. Wood and Douglas found that conspiracist comments don't argue a position so much (if at all), what they are about is questioning events and arguing that something (a nebulous something) "must be wrong".

    Sound familiar?

    Will this little fact be incorporated into the next iteration of their conspiracy I wonder, along the lines described in Recursive Fury?
  34. Chek/Sou - I approve of your general message but try not to get so het up as it just plays to 'Darrell''s humour-game, and that's one we won't win. We pro-science-ers need to talk it like we walk it: keep it pedestrian. I personally try to stick to the message and don’t go in much for snide humour in comments - though there’s some people I certainly wouldn’t mind trying out a few ‘gags’ on (*cough* Brad Keyes *cough*). (Hoho! – see, deniers! Anyone can do it!).
  35. #85 Harb - "I just pulled evidence (or more precisely, A Reason To Believe) out of a f#ck#ng hat."

    You did? In science that is called fraud and people behaving thus get disgraced and kicked out. Unless, of course, the very thing you pulled out the hat provides evidence for a scientific hypothesis on what could come out of the hat or about its presumable contents. E.g., do you have balls in that hat? A distribution of white and red balls, actually? Then perhaps you are dealing with, e.g., a cognitive experiment on the assessments of chance like done by Daniel Kahneman & co-workers.
    Or, your specifications are lacking everywhere.

    "... forget the "skeptics." They/we don't matter. Their/our whole discourse is a distraction, a red herring, in scientific terms." from Harb #88.

    There is some truth to this. To the scientific endeavourers of climatology, the 'skeptics' are merely a distraction, an unpleasurable one at that. Otherwise they and their discourse don't matter at all, for all their red herringness.

    Then, science may study any subject, and hard but rewarding and elucidating work may done on the study of (said) distractions, including gaining some insights into the workings of opinion forming. In fact, lots of this kind of research is done by e.g. sociologists, psychologists, economists, political scientists and cognitologists like me. Actually, many lobbyists and deniers for hire are, to a degree, students of this subject.

    For me, on the other hand, 'skeptics' provide some distraction that actually is a pleasure. You see, consensus is so often only reached after a painful confrontation with evidence.
    Knowing this, I hope against knowledge of her expected track that Cyclone Ita will wipe Cairns off the map. Because the sooner the lesson is learnt by early confrontation, the better one more population will be suited to anticipate and mitigate the vast weather and climate (+ related) disasters that lie in the immediate future and to lose all distractions on the way.

    For me, this is a very emotional conclusion and I hold this pointed stance like an untrained fakir*. For this reason I have a valuable distraction accompanied with some relaxing fun from the 'skeptics'.

    A note on the side, language, please. This blog, unlike Deltoid, prefers other four letter words than some you've been using.

    *learning fast.
  36. Darrell Harb

    It could be—maybe BBD was just having a bad day. Or maybe he's a nutter. Do you really want my amateur guess?


    No. Another false claim from you, the first being that I was indulging in conspiracist ideation. I demonstrated to you that I was not, so repeating your false claim also makes you a liar.

    There is a large amount of documented evidence that corroborates my remarks quoted by Keyes. You can review a representative sample of it in Brulle (2013).

    You might also try Jacques et al. (2008).

    Everything I say is based on matters of fact, and cannot therefore be conspiracist ideation.

    You, I repeat, are a liar.
  37. I also believe that you are a sock aka Brad Keyes. IMO moderation is required at this point.
  38. Darrell Harb at 04:24 AM on 11 April, 2014
    cRR,

    See, we can learn interesting things from each other if we forget the adolescent adversarial BS.

    Ita is increasingly looking like a forlorn hope. If she misses, what's your next best "hope" (so to speak) in terms of early confrontations?
  39. #99 BBD, thanks, IMO idem.
  40. MODERATOR

    Commenter "Darrell Harb" is Brad Keyes.
  41. Darrell Harb at 04:45 AM on 11 April, 2014
    BBD:
    Everything I say is based on matters of fact, and cannot therefore be conspiracist ideation.
    Er, I hate to break it to you BBD, but every conspiracist ideator in the history of conspiracism could say, and many of them have said, exactly the same thing. Yawn.
    I also believe that you are a sock aka Brad Keyes.
    And I believe your real first name is Dominic, not "BBD." Of course nobody cares, because you're not also commenting under "Dominic." If "Keyes" shows up here, then be my guest: accuse us/me/it of being sock puppet/puppets/puppetses. (Sorry, I haven't got my head around the grammar of human cloning yet.) Until then, crying to teacher is a needless embarrassment for you.
  42. Darrell Harb at 04:46 AM on 11 April, 2014
    BBD:
    Everything I say is based on matters of fact, and cannot therefore be conspiracist ideation.
    Er, I hate to break it to you BBD, but every conspiracist ideator in the history of conspiracism could say, and many of them have said, exactly the same thing. Yawn.
    I also believe that you are a sock aka Brad Keyes.
    And I believe your real name is Dominic, not "BBD." Of course nobody cares, because you're not also commenting under "Dominic." If "Keyes" shows up here, then be my guest: accuse us/me/it of being sock puppet/puppets/puppetses. (Sorry, I haven't got my head around the grammar of human cloning yet.) Until then, crying to teacher is a needless embarrassment for you.
  43. MODERATOR

    Commenter "Darrell Harb" is Brad Keyes.
  44. Brad

    You were banned from this blog for good reasons, just as you were banned from numerous other fora.

    You should not be here running a sock. I will do my best to see you banned again.
  45. Darrell Harb at 05:06 AM on 11 April, 2014
    cRR,

    IYO have the "auditors" (presumably a subset of the "skeptics") contributed anything legitimate to the scientific enterprise that might, say, partially redeem their deleterious and distracting effects?
  46. chek #91

    "One of the indicators of the usefulness of consensus is who it excludes."

    Disagree.
    In the case of AGW, the usefulness of consensus is it's potential political application - you know, as a vehicle to support "action on climate change".
    Politically, consensus is used instead of science - it's a communication tool.

    In any other sphere of scientific endeavour, consensus' is 'arrived at', not declared - no one cares.

    Anyway, I'd wager one could find 97% of *insert religion of choice* believe in *insert corresponding deity of choice*.
    There is no evidence needed to support the existence of consensus - entirely different concepts.

    Consider another theory - The 'Big Bang' theory. Does anyone pontificate on whether there's a consensus on that one? Nope.
  47. Brad aka "Darrell Harb"

    Er, I hate to break it to you BBD, but every conspiracist ideator in the history of conspiracism could say, and many of them have said, exactly the same thing. Yawn.


    I provided evidence. You are arguing from assertion, as you invariably do when confronted with evidence that you don't like.
  48. "There is no evidence needed to support the existence of consensus"

    Sure. Also evidence can cause consensus, at the very least by those who are knowledgeable about it - not excluded by your statement as you see. That is the exact kind of consensus scientists are after in sofar they care at all: evidence-based consensus.
    For this reason, scientific consensus simply implies their evidence is sound. On subjects where interpretation of instrumental results is relatively easy and methodology crystal, like much of physics and all of mathematics, consensus may be taken to imply near-total resp total evidence.
  49. Darrell Harb at 05:21 AM on 11 April, 2014
    Politically, consensus is used instead of science - it's a communication tool.
    Agreed.

    It's theatre, put on to teach the truth to the scientifically-illiterate 98%ers.
  50. Brad Keyes aka "Darrell Harb"

    Until then, crying to teacher is a needless embarrassment for you.


    You are banned from this blog. You are the one who should be embarrassed and ashamed for dishonestly breaching the comments policy here.

    Hopefully that you are doing so will soon be noticed by the moderators.

Prev  1  2  3  Next

Comments Policy

Post a Comment

You need to be logged in to post a comment. Login via the left margin or register a new account.