Readers – I stand in awe at the complete lack of self-awareness of Anthony Watts and his merry crew of “sceptic” readers.
Not content with the very public embarrassment of:
- claiming that no sceptic blogs were contacted to participate in the survey for the NASA paper
- only to have egg on their faces when it was revealed sceptic blogs had been contacted (see here for the lulz)
- proving the point of the paper by engaging in an orgy of rage and conspiracy making…
…sceptic bloggers are now engaged in cascading episodes of jumping to conclusions.
These “sceptics” are behaving exactly as predicted – exactly as predicted.
Every one outside the sceptic bubble could see it playing out like this: in fact the way Watts et.al are behaving is fitting the criteria for conspiracy ideation.
And it is hilarious.
Case in point – see Watts indulge in a text-book example of pattern seeking behaviour by cherry picking some “facts” about John Cook (of Skeptical Science) as an administrator for several websites:
There’s a lot that has been going on behind the scenes with the Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky “moon landing paper” affair. It turns out that Dr. Lewandowsky is part of a larger association that I dub the Cook-Lewandowsky Social-Internet Link.
Dum, dum, dum!
Watts then goes on to cherry pick random quotes from a variety places to “prove” the Lewandowsky-Cook-Hive-Mind-New-World-Order-Conspiracy.
Anyway, go over to Shaping Tomorrow’s world for some sanity, in which the authors of the NASA paper discuss their methodology:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, after various unfounded accusations against us have collapsed into smithereens, critics of our work have now set their sights on the data. It has been alleged that the responses to our survey were somehow “scammed,” thereby compromising our conclusions.
Unlike the earlier baseless accusations, there is some merit in casting a critical eye on our data. Science is skepticism and our data must not be exempt from scrutiny.
As it turns out, our results withstand skeptical scrutiny. We will explain why in a series of posts that take up substantive issues that have been raised in the blogosphere in turn.
Back to the Watts post – most precious of all is the comments which provide further text-book examples of conspiracy ideation.
Here’s some choice quotes:
September 12, 2012 at 2:54 pm
I wonder how much (if any) of the grant money awarded to Lewd Lew might have found its way into funds supporting Cook’s activities. I see a UWA investigation on the horizon.
Ah, the onanistic fantasy of all deniers – that somehow university admin people will rush in and correct the behaviour of naughty professors.
Then there is standard conspiracy theorising:
September 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm
It is all simpler than one might think. In AU, left wing governments supply “grants” and funding to left wing academics and “news” outlets. Right wing governments provide fewer “grants”. The market rules. If you wish to be funded by the government purse then you provide left wing propaganda.
I’m not sure how that makes sense, but to the poster it is axiomatic that left-wing governments give grants to left-wing academics. Wait a minute didn’t the Howard (conservative) government continue to fund the CSIRO and universities? Ah logic, how badly you can be twisted in the hands of a conspiracy theorist.
Science is left-wing propaganda. Indeed.
This is my favorite – the poster that tells people not to send their children to Australia:
September 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm
Australia would be much better off if they let Asia just take it over. They are overgoverned, overrated, stuffy, overpoliced, controlled by politically correct minorities,full of themselves and their education system is now third world rated. Examples Gergis paper fiasco, Flannery, carbon tax now all this stuff with good ol Lew…its endless. Don’t send your children there to study my advice…
Australia, beautiful one day – North Korea the next.