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 This statement claimed that our paper Recursive Fury (uwa.edu.au/recursivefury), had been retracted because it “did not sufficiently protect the rights of the studied subjects.”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?

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183 Comments


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Comments 1 to 50 out of 181:

  1. 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.

    I assure you I am not making an allegation you are hiding data but do you realize the University Of Western Australia page you cite as hosting the Recursive Fury paper does not also host the supplementary material that was originally hosted by Frontiers?

    http://www.psychology.uwa.edu.au/research/cognitive

    The Recursive Fury paper indicates the importance of accessibility of the supplementary data several times in these following references (my emphasis)
    In addition, because data collection (via internet search) was conducted by two authors who were not involved in analysis or report of LOG12, the resulting "raw" data available in the online supplementary material cannot reflect a conflict of interest involving the LOG12 authors. Moreover, the availability of these raw data enables other scholars to bring an alternative viewpoint to bear during any reanalyses

    Blog posts that published recursive theories were excerpted (see Online Supplementary Material for all recorded instances) with each excerpt representing a mention of the recursive theory (see Table 3 and Figure 2).

    Only two blog comments (shown in the supplementary material) noted that because "skeptic" blogs did not post links to the survey, the LOG12 sample may have been skewed towards people who endorse the science, without also accompanying that critique with a hypothesis of nefarious intentions or malfeasance on the part of LOG12.

    So I think you would agree it would seem necessary to ensure the equal availability of the supplementary material at the same location?
    Moderator Response: Thanks, good point. Stand by.
  2. Brandon Shollenberger at 11:39 AM on 9 April, 2014
    There is a lot to comment on in this post, but I only have a minute right now. As such, I'll just highlight a humorous aspect of it:

    Folks, we did not hide the data.

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


    The link provided does not go to any data. It goes to the Recursive Fury paper itself. Obviously the paper is not its own data.

    Speaking of which, the claim data wasn't hidden is false. When the data file provided by the authors was examined, people noticed a comment by Richard Betts was included in it. This triggered laughter, and Lewandowsky responded:

    One misrepresentation of Recursive Fury is that we accuse Professor Richard Betts of the Met Office of being a conspiracy theorist because one of his quotes appears in our raw data.... I can see how this misunderstanding arose. The Supplementary Material features the heading "Excerpt Espousing Conspiracy Theory" referring to the excerpted quotes that we pasted into the spreadsheet. In hindsight, the heading should have been "Excerpt relevant to a recursive theory", because the criterion for inclusion was simply whether or not they referred to one of the hypotheses. The analysis of conspiracist ideation occurred after that, and involved the criteria mentioned at the outset.


    According to Lewandowsky, any comment "relevant to a recursive fury" should have been included in their data. However, their data file contained fewer than 200 comments. There are hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of relevant comments they didn't include, including many comments posted on the same web pages as comments they did include.

    There is no way the authors could have failed to notice a great deal of relevant comments they didn't include. As such, the only conclusion is they did hide data. There's no way of knowing why that data was hidden, and perhaps there is some legitimate explanation, data was certainly hidden.
  3. Jonathan Cook at 13:39 PM on 9 April, 2014
    The link to Graham Readfearn is broken. Plus I think you need to take a holiday Stephan, these posts about your retracted paper are increasingly erratic.
    Moderator Response: Link now fixed.
  4. Barry Woods at 18:41 PM on 9 April, 2014
    Ref 'Hiding the data'

    the complaints about data not being available, are with respect to a different paper by the author called:

    NASA faked the Moon Landings [therefore] climate science is a hoax. An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science - Lewandowsky et al - Psychological Science.

    the raw data for this survey has been requested so that a comment may be submitted to the journal Psychological Science, and it has been refused. by no less a person than the Vice chancellor...

    With respect to Fury, Frontiers hosted the research supplementary data when it was, until they took it down (for the second time, for a year).

    This data was available when the paper was published, and in part it caused the complaints!!

    And as another person has commented,(and a moderator has acknowledged) this data for the 'Recursive Fury' paper is NOT currently available, just the paper.

    So I do think the author of this article has perhaps been a little misleading here (presumably due to the authors described minimal recollection of events), ref 'Hiding the Data'
  5. Dr. Lewandowsky,

    You wrote, "Except that in this case, to allege malice against John Cook, hackers trolled through two years of his private conversations and found exactly nothing."

    Are you alleging that Anthony Watts hacked the forum at Skeptical Science? Furthermore, isn't alleging that someone is a "hacker" and labeling them a "troll" a bit malicious?
  6. Barry Woods at 19:13 PM on 9 April, 2014
    I complained (in the main) about the ethical conduct, conflict of interest and suitability of co-author Michael Marriott (the blogger Watching The Deneirs)
  7. Barry Woods at 21:13 PM on 9 April, 2014
    I was defamed/libelled as much as Prof Richard Betts was (UK Met Office, IPCC lead author) we both appear in the data set. Big laughs…
    (and there were some at the Met Office as well, according to Richard)

    Frontiers must have taken a look at the copious examples of one or more authors being utterly conflicted in researching sceptics., both ethically and with conflicts of interest.

    just one example, Michael Marriott writing on his personal blog “Watching the Deniers” blog before after and during the research period, that I and Anthony Watts are Deniers, Disinformers, [part of ] Denial machine, writing Verified Bullshit and suffering form a psychological defect Dunning – Kruger – would give any psychology journal slight pause for thought, perhaps..

    especially as co-author Marriot has ZERO psychology qualifications.. he has also been attacking Jo Nova (named in the paper) and her husband David Evans for years (including a particulary nasty, conspiracy theory and anti-Semitic set of innuendoes: http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/the-protocols-of-the-elder-climate-scientists-and-banksters-is-the-media-is-twigging-to-just-how-extreme-some-sceptics-are/

    look at his about page – his affiliation for the paper – Climate Realities Research appear to be purely a vanity creation, no records of a company institution to be found.
  8. "hoopoe" should be "hope" (creative spell checking excess)
  9. geoffchambers at 22:50 PM on 9 April, 2014
    Foxgoose
    An interesting idea. I have publicly called Lewandowsky a liar, a fraud, a fool and a charlatan, and my insults were cited by Steve McIntyre at ClimateAudit. Would this preclude me from taking part in a class action?
  10. The best place to test the truth of Recursive Fury is a court room where all the data will have to be made available and assessed by a judge and jury.

    That should get Lew off the hook, or in trouble. I would like to say that I'd chip in to any fund that brought this chap to the bar to explain how he managed to assign psychological disorders to a bunch of strangers who didn't even provide the date he diagnosed the disorders from.
  11. Dr. Lewandowsky,

    I just returned to the FOI docs that we're published by desmog blog and realized I'd made an error. I recalled that Anthony Watts referred to the malicious comments in the secret SKS forum. But in fact it was Steve McIntyre.

    You wrote, "Except that in this case, to allege malice against John Cook, hackers trolled through two years of his private conversations and found exaYctly nothing."

    I hardly think Steve McIntyre hacked the forum. If he didnt then alleging otherwise is likely malicious and defamatory. Do you stand by that allegation?
  12. Although we have destroyed all correspondence and documents involving the allegations against us at the request of Frontiers,
    Is it fair say that this also means you can offer no evidence to prove this request has you deleted that too and that if Frontiers can find no evidenced they made the request , then they must have deleted it also? If so can you tell why this request was made in the first place , it simply makes no sense if the allegations as you claim are unfounded that there would be any need to delete this material in the first place?

    ‘However, we considered this unwise in light of the pervasive allegations against (climate) scientists that they are “hiding data.,
    So Jones of CRU never said that he did not want to give others his data because they may find something wrong with it ? He will be surpassed to learn that.

    ‘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?’
    As with the hackers claim the author hear is long on statements and very short on evidenced , although to be fair that would appear to be normal practice.
  13. [I posted this initially on the wrong thread.]

    I wonder if Professor Lewandowsky or any of his apologists on this thread would consider the following an example of conspiracist ideation:

    Empirical Studies

    First, I identified the drivers of newspaper coverage of climate change in Australia and the news sources who accessed the news media to discredit authoritative scientific knowledge about climate change. I found that these news sources have historical, material connections to American think tanks, Australian conservative political parties and economic interests in the fossil fuel, mining and energy industries - all of which oppose policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    I then mapped out the discursive strategies used by these news sources and the ideological basis of the narratives propagated through discourse coalitions that permeate the Field of Power which encompasses the political, economic, academic, media and think tanks social fields.

    Finally, I designed synchronic case studies to examine the representation of scientific knowledge about climate change in newspapers across Australia. My case studies confirmed that ideological and partisan orientation are the main factors that determine a newspaper’s or journalist’s attitude towards the science of climate change.

    In my future research, I plan to build on my PhD study to further investigate how economic interests use think tanks, the news media, social media and social movements to engage in the social production of scientific ignorance in order to manipulate policy debates in the areas of environment, energy and public health.
  14. but I'm rehearsing in my mind how Lewandowsky's article above would sound in a court of law.


    You keep fantasising away, Geoff.
    As this thread shows, it's what you're collectively good at.
  15. Darrell Harb at 04:21 AM on 10 April, 2014
    chek:
    You keep fantasising away, Geoff.
    But fantasy parties just aren't the same without BBD here to tell us about "the denial industry... misdirection, false equivalence and dogmatism are central to it all... needs to be shut out of public discourse... if more were publicly known about the contrarian spin machine... the dishonest tactics of the misinformation industry... people do not realise what is going on behind the scenes!"

    (Please note, despite appearances, that BBD is not a conspiracy theorist, because he can provide a hyperlink to another person that agrees with his... uh, ideations.)
  16. Wow, how easy was that? Almost too much material for Recursive Fury II. (Human nature has a dark side.)

    Top article, Stephan. Some people are weird, in a not nice way. It seems to be the same "small number" of people.
  17. patrioticduo at 04:48 AM on 10 April, 2014
    Sou, you are definitely exhibiting some "self sealing" of your own. Care to fill out this new online survey? By the way, I am not who I actually present myself as. So I shall call myself the "assistant". Still want to be part of the survey? By the way, you don't know it yet but I will be publishing absolutely anything you say in one big long commentary about the particular pathologies from which you and your demented cohorts suffer. Still interested?
  18. I wonder if the commenters here realize they are offering up fodder for future studies. This is a target-rich environment.
  19. Darrell Harb at 08:26 AM on 10 April, 2014
    I wonder if the commenters here realize they are offering up fodder for future studies.
    And may Lewandowsky's next attempt at doing science be every bit as methodologically, ethically and statistically triumphant as his last.
  20. EFS,

    Tell you what - lend me your reading comprehension talent.

    Which hackers trolled through two years of John Cook's private conversations to allege malice against him and found exactly nothing?
  21. DGH,

    I don't know "Which hackers trolled through ...?

    Do you?

    We do know what McIntyre did however, cherry picking and quote mining things that John Cook did not say. With foresight and malice no less.

    McIntyre is one seriously hurting troll (aka Sickman by Alice In Chains), having one's clock stopped in 1998 is never a good thing for one's mental health IMHO.
  22. "And may Lewandowsky's next attempt at doing science be every bit as methodologically, ethically and statistically triumphant as his last. " prayeth Darrell. And I expect it will be, if not more so, with Darrell being an ignoramus in excelsis.

    Dr Lewandowsky's skills are in high demand globally, moving from a professorship at UWA (ranked 80th in world universities) to a professorship at the University of Bristol
    Btw Foxgoose, have you perhaps recently considered changing your nym to 'CookedGoose' in the light of your recent erratic public behaviour? Or does Steve have memory issues that would disallow that option?
  23. #20 Darrell Harb - "The "instrument by which scientific skepticism is pursued" is not peer bloody review. It is the scientific method itself."

    To lecture a scientist from misreading a remark... Among healthy scientific skepticism is skepticism directed at another scientist's results and hisr methodology for obtaining them. The instrument by which this scientific skepticism is pursued is well bloody peer review.

    As to the situation a century ago, scientific endeavour has made progress since then and your comparison suggests you'd like to do away with this to happily return to some Inquisitional pseudo-ideology.
  24. Sorry about the borked links which should have read:

    Dr Lewandowsky's skills are in high demand globally, moving from a professorship at UWA (ranked 80th in world universities) to a professorship at the University of Bristol (ranked 30th in world universities.
    Btw Foxgoose, have you perhaps recently considered changing your nym to 'CookedGoose' in the light of your recent erratic public behaviour? Or does Steve have memory issues that would disallow that option?

    (I'd hate to have given FG the false ideation that he was worth a link that didn't incriminate him further).
  25. Mr. Lewandowsky ... you made the following statement:

    "Moreover, the availability of these raw data enables other scholars to bring an alternative viewpoint to bear during any reanalyses"

    If you believe the availability of raw data is important, then why have you and UWA repeatedly refused to release the data for LOG12? You said the same thing, and expanded on it, in a prior post st STW regarding LOG12.

    Why do you refuse to release the data, when you state availability of the data is important "to bring an alternative viewpoint to bear during any reanalyses?"
  26. Additionally Mr. Lewandowsky, you have repeatedly claimed that no issues were found with the Recursive Fury paper.

    How do you respond to that claim in light of the knowledge that the initial well qualified peer reviewer, Michael Wood, raised issues with the paper in his review, and when the Editor Dr Viren Swami published the paper without addressing the peer reviewers concerns that he withdrew as a reviewer and had his name removed from the paper?

    How do you respond to another highly qualified reviewer, Prof. Sabitha Nateson, being subsequently appointed and then withdrawn as a reviewer.

    How do you respond to the fact that the Frontiers Editor responsible for your paper, then appointed himself peer reviewer as well?

    It is all but unheard of for peer reviewers to change after publication once, let alone multiple times as here. If there were no issues or problems with the paper as you keep claiming, how do you address the highly unusual multiple changes and withdrawals of peer reviewers on your paper, after publication no less?

    These are fair and legitimate questions that deserve answers.
  27. A. Scott: "Why do you refuse to release the data"

    Here's an idea, A,Scott.
    Did Edison pester Röntgen, for his X-Ray data?
    Did Fender pester Paul for data about his breakthrough?
    No, they did not. They went and got their own data and proceeded through adversity and beyond.

    What is it with you people working (gratis) to empower good-for-nothing rent-seekers?
  28. Darrell Harb at 10:44 AM on 10 April, 2014
    cRR:
    To lecture a scientist from misreading a remark...
    I didn't misread anything—see the original trainwreck for yourself and tell us how "a scientist" would get himself into such a conceptual mess.
    As to the situation a century ago, scientific endeavour has made progress since then
    Out of curiosity, do you actually believe the scientific method has progressed since then?
    and your comparison suggests you'd like to do away with this
    It doesn't suggest that at all. Read it again.
    to happily return to some Inquisitional pseudo-ideology.
    I'm not sure I agree with you 100% on your history there, Lou. Even if I were in the sweet grip of nostalgia of a fin-de-siecle variety, I promise you that a return to 1905 would not entail giving the Inquisition (Roman, Spanish or any other ethnicity) a gatekeeping rôle in the prestige scientific press. I believe it was a bloke called Napoleon who gave the coup-de-grace to that kind of nonsense in Europe. No, rest assured there wouldn't be any stolen Vatican scrolls that read, "I can't see those getting in—Monsignor Kevin and I shall keep them out somehow—even if we have to redefine what the peer-review scripture is!"
  29. "even if we have to redefine what the peer-review scripture is!"

    Don't forget to tell us the bit about the entire review board resigning over that piece of trash pal-review garbage.
  30. Darrell Harb at 11:19 AM on 10 April, 2014
    Don't forget to tell us the bit about the entire review board resigning over that piece of trash pal-review garbage.
    LOL. Surely you meant "resigning over the instrument by which scientific skepticism is pursued"?

    Fish. Barrel. Ka-blam.
  31. No, I actually meant "scum deniers playing the system when they have a friend at the helm", but was far too polite in retrospect.
    And who better than our host to set you straight.
  32. chek - I quoted Lewandowsky's own words:

    "Moreover, the availability of these raw data enables other scholars to bring an alternative viewpoint to bear during any reanalyses"

    More of Mr. Lewandowsky's own words:

    "To buttress one's confidence in the result, a replication of the study would thus be helpful.

    But that doesn't mean it should be the same exact study done over again. On the contrary, this next study should differ slightly, so that the replication of the effect would underscore its breadth and resilience, and would buttress its theoretical impact.

    One might refine the set of items based on the results of the first study. One might provide a "neutral" option for the items this time round: the literature recognizes both strengths and weaknesses of including a neutral response option, so running the survey both ways and getting the same result would be particularly helpful.

    Yes, such a replication would be quite helpful."

    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lewandowskyReplications.html

    Lewandosky describes above, and employed in his papers, the scientific method of incorporating and building on past work - using that past work as the bsis for, and then comapring the results with, prior work.

    That is exactly what he did with LOG12 - his conspiracy questions were directly from Swami 2009, his free market questions from Heath 2006. He then compared his findings with the findings of this prior work.

    Exactly as he did with his subsequent 2013 PLSOne paper: "The Role of Conspiracist Ideation and Worldviews in Predicting Rejection of Science" ... which is exactly what he was describing in those comments above.

    Once again chek - Lewandosky's own words.

    Either they have meaning or they do not. They either apply to any and all replication/recreation efforts or they are meaningless. Either the scientific process is important or it is not.

    Tell us ... which is it? Is the scientific method important or not?

    Although I'd much prefer an answer from Mr. Lewandowsky.
  33. EFS - you are correct Prof. Prathiba Nateson

    I don't think anyone was mislead, as I also stated Univ of North Texas.
  34. chek - about that peer review thing.

    Recursive Fury's primary peer reviewer, Michael Wood, who is more than well qualified, raised objections to the authors.

    The Editor, Viren Swami, whose work Lewandowsky's LOG12 and related papers are directly based on, by all appearances made the decision as Editor to approve for publication, and did publish the paper despite the authors failure to address the reviewers concerns.

    In a highly unusual action, the reviewer as a result withdrew and asked his name be removed from the paper.

    The Editor, Mr. Swami, then named Prof. Prathiba Nateson in the paper as the replacement reviewer. Ms. Nateson's name was almost just as quickly removed as a reviewer.

    In her place the Mr. Swami appointed himself as the replacement viewer. While Mr. Swami as I've noted is more than qualified as a reviewer for this paper, as far as I can ascertain it is extremely unusual for an Editor to name themselves as a peer reviewer as well.

    Despite repeated requests, neither the authors or the Journal have addressed these highly unusual circumstances, nor the objections the original reviewer may have raised.

    The authors, the Editor and the Journal all claim there were no issues with the paper - yet the orig reviewers objections and his withdrawal as a result of the authors failure to address them show a different picture.

    How do you respond to these actions?
  35. A. Scott firstly, your nefarious intent is showing.

    Secondly, for someone who, by your other comments, is unfamiliar with academia and scientific publications of any type, let alone cognitive science, you seem to be very sure about what is or isn't the norm in regard to publication processes.

    Thirdly, (speaking of ethical behaviour or otherwise) and since you don't link to any supporting material, what do you base your statements upon? Is this all publicly available information? If so, care to share a link to supporting documentation? If not, and this is inside information - do you work for or have you received written communication to that effect from the Editors at Frontiers? If so, care to share it? Otherwise we will all assume you are getting a bit carried away in the style of Steve McIntyre ('nuff said). (Well, I and probably most other readers, have concluded that in any case.)

    BTW it's not at all uncommon for a particular reviewer to not recommend a paper, while the editor determines otherwise. I have no idea what happened in this case but if you are now suggesting it was Frontiers that erred in its judgement, not the authors, then say so. That's their problem, not the authors of the paper.

    (Readers will have noticed that it's the deniers who are shrieking and misbehaving as Stephan described above. I don't know why you aren't chastising McIntyre, geoffchambers and others. Speaks to your own dubious ethics, doesn't it - with your "look, squirrell" nonsense. You've already demonstrated your double standards though, so your questionable behaviour is to be expected.)
  36. Prathiba Natesan not Prathiba Nateson :(
  37. Meanwhile back at the ClimateRanch ...

    Moe: Of course he could be doing yet another experiment in which he gauges peoples reaction to his supposed destruction of documents.

    Larry: More likely, an editor said something to the effect of, I’d like this all to be a distant memory, and wink wink, nod nod, Lew “knew” what they really meant.

    Curly: That wouldn't be the editor that reviewed the paper by any chance?

    Nyuk, nyuk.
  38. Sou - firstly, your asshattery is showing ... more of the typical personal insults and denigration from you ... are you even capable of offering an intelligent, reasoned contribution to the discussion?

    Secondly .... I know enough about peer review and scholarly publications of alleged science that it is highly unusual for peer reviewers to be removed or withdrawn after publication.

    It is also highly unusual for Editors to appoint themselves as peer reviewers, again especially after the work has been published. But by all means you feel free to prove me wrong, that these actions are not unusual.

    Thirdly, my statement - which you denigrate and ridicule with NO knowledge or basis - comes from direct personal correspondence with the peer reviewer. Please feel free to pull your head out of your arse at any time and apologize. Although I imagine you'll find some excuse to attack regardless - as you've made clear you have no interest in facts or the truth here, let alone intelligent conversation.

    Next - while it may not be unusual for a peer reviewer to reject a paper (although I disagree)... it is extremely unusual for that rejection to occur post publication. It is extremely unusual and rare for a peer reviewer to withdraw as a reviewer and ask their name be removed as a reviewer of the paper after the paper has been published. Once again - please feel free to prove me wrong, to provide evidence hat these actions are not unusual.

    You demanded sources from me, which I provided - I request the same from you - sources for your claims.

    Your final paragraph was nothing but juvenile ad hominem ... yet again showing your inability to engage in intelligent discourse.
  39. Darrell Harb, "... how "a scientist" would get himself into such a conceptual mess."
    -Do you realize you are projecting your pseudscientism and conceptual mess on a true scientist?

    "Out of curiosity, do you actually believe the scientific method has progressed since then?"
    -No, I know that is so.

    Of course I had some typical revisionism ready for your 1905 romanticism.

    1905.

    http://invention.psychology.msstate.edu/i/Wrights/library/WrightSiAm1.html

    This is worth quoting:

    It seems that these alleged experiments were made at Dayton, Ohio, a fairly large town, and that the newspapers of the United States, alert as they are, allowed these sensational performances to escape their notice. When it is considered that Langley never even successfully launched his man-carrying machine, that Langley's experimental model never flew more than a mile, and that Wright's mysterious aeroplane covered a reputed distance of 38 kilometers at the rate of one kilometer a minute, we have the right to exact further information before we place reliance on these French reports. Unfortunately, the Wright brothers are hardly disposed to publish any substantiation or to make public experiments, for reasons best known to themselves.[emphasis added] If such sensational and tremendously important experiments are being conducted in a not very remote part of the country, on a subject in which almost everybody feels the most profound interest, is it possible to believe that the enterprising American reporter, who, it is well known, comes down the chimney when the door is locked in his face--even if he has to scale a fifteen-story sky-scraper to do so-- would not have ascertained all about them and published them broadcast long ago? Why particularly, as it is further alleged, should the Wrights desire to sell their invention to the French government for a "million" francs. Surely their own is the first to which they would be likely to apply.

    We certainly want more light on the subject.


    This idiot is late but there were quite a lot of scientific articles denying the possibility of flight of 'things heavier than air'. If there were peer review then no-one would ever have heard of that tripe. But you may deny the existence of bats and birds for me.

    Remark that the guy 'certainly wants more light on the subject' meaning he made no attempt at all to satisfy his lied 'want'.
  40. #50 A. Scott, "You demanded sources from me, which I provided"

    Where?

    You are showing worse than nefarious intent. So to sing with Sou: .. since you don't link to any supporting material, what do you base your statements upon? Is this all publicly available information? If so, care to share a link to supporting documentation? If not, and this is inside information - do you work for or have you received written communication to that effect from the Editors at Frontiers? If so, care to share it?

    Because, ib.: Otherwise we will all assume you are getting a bit carried away in the style of Steve McIntyre ('nuff said).

    Matter of fact I assume nefarious intent, not some sort of 'getting a bit carried away'. If that were true you'd have checked your getting carried away right away.
  41. Darrell Harb at 19:28 PM on 10 April, 2014
    cRR,

    Do you realize you are projecting your pseudscientism and conceptual mess on a true scientist?
    Nope—I try not to realize things that aren't true. It's a little rule I have.

    Secondly, I thought I was as clear as possible that I'm not in favor of turning back the clock to 1905. No? Still some nagging ambiguity on that point, is there?

    Leaving aside the fact that you're pushing against an open door (an idiom meaning: "arguing against nobody in particular"), I agree with much of what you say, and I suspect most of the haggling would concern the precise point at which the scientific method ends.
  42. Darrell Harb at 19:33 PM on 10 April, 2014
    cRR

    Fine print:

    1. I may or may not disagree with this, but alas I don't know what it means:
    Remark that the guy 'certainly wants more light on the subject' meaning he made no attempt at all to satisfy his lied 'want'.

    2. I only agree with "much of what you say" to me. Not what you say to A Scott, etc., which I've only skimmed so who knows.
  43. Harb #53, "I try not to realize things that aren't true. It's a little rule I have", that's what I said, but what do you say?

    "... I thought I was as clear as possible that I'm not in favor of turning back the clock to 1905."
    No, you only made it clear that the Spanish Inquisition didn't exist in 1905, en passant failing to read the metaphor. But you are clear on this now so that's that.

    #54, the guy 'certainly wanting more light' on the subject of flight wrote that in 1905, a year or two after the Wright Bros first flights, which means he has not ever moved a finger to get the light he wants. This behaviour is much like that of many climate revisionists. They will simply not read climate change knowledge while projecting their cherished ignorance on everyone else especially climate scietists. Many do not learn anything at all, a deliberate stance of stupidity, while some even tell the porky they do want to learn (to have us run to educate them only to get abused again). Clearer? I know, revisionism has its paradoxes, antitheses and subtleties...
  44. Darrell Harb at 20:23 PM on 10 April, 2014
    cRR,

    that's all very interesting, but I can already tell that you have a more sophisticated understanding of:

    1. the scientific method
    2. how my "side" of the debate thinks

    than Lewandowsky himself, so it's not at all clear to me why you and I should be adversaries. I personally have no appetite for rhetorical bloodsport against thoughtful opponents. (In case you hadn't figured it out, my string of wins is due to my policy of choosing idiots as opponents.)

    Since this is a Climateball arena, we should probably cede the playing area to dyads who actually have matters of honor to be settled.

    Like you and A Scott, for instance.
  45. A Scott (on previous page) - reviewers don't reject papers, it's editors who decide what will and won't be published.

    In regard to your inside info, you've said where you got the info from but haven't provided any context or evidence. However if what you say is so, it's just like I said - that's got nothing to do with the authors, it's between the reviewer and the journal.

    You keep spinning your insinuations into conspiracy theories as if the authors are somehow at fault. They aren't.

    As for the rest - you'll get no respect from me. You condone, possibly even applaud and may even be complicit in the appalling actions that Stefan wrote about in his article and that the commenters on the previous page boasted about doing. Grossly contemptible behaviour all around.

    You've been insinuating wrongdoing and jumping up and down making irrelevant and unreasonable demands for going on eighteen months now. Attention-seeking? Obsession? Or maybe that's just normal behaviour for conspiracy theorists.

    Whatever.

    Maybe if I re-read Recursive Fury and explore other papers on motivated reasoning and conspiracy ideation I'll better understand what drives people to act the way people here have been doing.

    PS I see that three Frontiers editors have resigned in protest at Frontiers giving way to intimidation by science deniers now. Good for them.
  46. Darrell Harb at 21:06 PM on 10 April, 2014
    cRR,

    as a reference point, Sou here is an example of someone whose grasp on how science works is weaker than Lewandowsky's.

    The first time I met her she was trying to tell everyone within earshot that the "consensus" among scientists referred to how much evidence they had! (Evidence for what hypothesis, you ask? I don't think I ever got around to asking—I was laughing too much—but I doubt she'd even thought that far ahead.)

    She doesn't understand much, our Sou, but she does know the Climateball rules, and that meant she could never ever ever ever admit in public that she was wrong about that.

    Now that's an "opponent" you can have fun with. That's someone who gives the gift of laughter, the gift that keeps on giving.
  47. Darrell (or is it Brad Keyes? Surely not, since as I recall, he's been banned from here), not quite what I would have said, but yes, it's in the ball park.

    Scientific consensus is evidence-based.

    There may be some disciplines, such as in theoretical physics, where consensus may be, you guessed it, theoretical (physics/math-based).
  48. Darrell Harb at 21:43 PM on 10 April, 2014
    LOL!

    Ah, ah.... LOL.... Sou.... or as I like to think of her, The Giving Tree. My sides are hurting.

    Sou, for the sake of new viewers, please don't hold back. No need for this weasel-wordy unfalsifiable unverifiable stuff about "evidence-based."

    Just come right on out and tell them: you think consensus in science is a measure of evidence. Not opinion, folks; evidence!!

    (Don't be shy, Sou! You're a national treasure ;-D )
  49. Harb #58 - "as a reference point, Sou here is an example of someone whose grasp on how science works is weaker than Lewandowsky's."

    That may be so, implying - and like you said, I can assess this - Sou's grasp of how science works is excellent whereas you just put prof Lewandowsky on deity level in this respect.

    Sou #59, different style. Say ball park? Climateball arena? Seems legit: there is a Darrell Harb who's into actual ball play and actually made a string of wins partly by "the grace of God", et cetera. Irrelevant, we have to make do, and can quite well, with content posted regardless of author naming.
  50. Harb #60, cool down and just try again. This is what Sou said:

    "Scientific consensus is evidence-based."

    Please respond to that.

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