Readers may recall a post a year ago about a nonsense paper by Hermann Harde that appeared in Global and Planetary Change. We reported too on the crowd-sourced rebuttal led by Peter Köhler that was published last October. Now comes an editorial by three members of the Editorial Board (Martin Grosjean, Joel Guiot and Zicheng Yu) reporting on what the circumstances were that led to the Harde paper appearing.
The story is (unsurprisingly) one of ‘Pal Review’ (as noticed too by Eli):
Our review revealed the following:
- During the initial manuscript submission, H. Harde suggested five potential reviewers. Most if not all of them are prominent individuals advocating that currently raising CO2 concentrations would be natural and not related to human influence. A careful assessment of their CVs, fields of expertise and publications lists leads to the conclusion that none of the five reviewers proposed by Harde can be considered as an expert or authority in carbon cycle, carbon or climate sensitivity or similar fields of research.
- All five suggested potential reviewers were invited by the Editor to provide formal reviews on the submitted manuscript. Two of them accepted the invitation and suggested ‘major revisions’ and ‘minor revisions’, respectively. Both reviewers asked the author for more clarity and better presentation, style and language; none of them raised any concern about the scientific content of the manuscript. We believe that this may have been because the reviewers lacked the impartiality and scientific expertise to provide an adequate science-based review.
- The referee’s comments were sent back to H. Harde. Revisions were made accordingly, the referees were satisfied with the revisions and the Editor accepted the revised manuscript for publication.
- In common with many other submissions to the journal at the time, none of the other Editors or Editorial Board members of Global and Planetary Change were involved in the peer review process by the Editor handling Harde (2017).
It seems to me that this gaming of the system should be grounds for retraction, or at minimum an editorial note of concern, since the continued availability of the paper leaves the impression that this paper was appropriately peer reviewed and valid (neither of which is true).
The editorial continues with revelation that Harde was invited to submit a reply to the rebuttal, but was trashed in review and rejected:
The journal editor offered Harde the opportunity for a formal Reply to respond to Köhler et al.’s Comment article. However, after external expert reviews, the Reply by Harde to the Comment by Köhler et al. (2018) was rejected because it did not add any significant information to the argument put forward in the original paper. In reviewing the Reply, the reviewers felt that Harde’s argument is “…too simplistic, based on invalid assumptions, ignores a whole body of observational evidence, and cites selectively literature that has long-time been disproved”. The experts confirm the suggestion by Köhler et al. (2018) that “…the paper be withdrawn by the author, editor or publisher due to fundamental errors in the understanding of the carbon cycle.” Most importantly, the expert reviewers clarified that Harde (2017) does not contribute to a seemingly open scientific debate or provides an alternative view. In contrast, it “…contains many mistakes, misconceptions and omissions and ignores a vast body of scholarly literature on the subject”
As a result, authors submitting to GPC will no longer be able to suggest reviewers, and all papers will include the name of the editor that dealt with them.
However, the issue is not really that authors shouldn’t try to be helpful in suggesting reviewers (this can be useful for editors and is widespread among journals), but that editors should be be appropriately skeptical and investigate whether the suggested reviewers are qualified and likely to be impartial. If editors are targeted perhaps precisely because they are in a different field, journals and publishers should make it easy to ask more knowledgeable colleagues for advice.
We have said many times over the years that peer review, while necessary, is not a sufficient condition for a paper to be a positive contribution. Anomalies will get published – and the techniques used by Harde are the usual route. Add in the technique of submitting to journals that aren’t really in the field at all, or, more recently, submitting to predatory journals that perform only perfunctory review (if any).
Indeed, there is another example that just appeared by Rex Fleming in “Environmental Earth Science” which, despite the name is not a climate science journal.
Time for some more crowd-sourcing?
- H. Harde, "Scrutinizing the carbon cycle and CO2 residence time in the atmosphere", Global and Planetary Change, vol. 152, pp. 19-26, 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2017.02.009
- P. Köhler, J. Hauck, C. Völker, D.A. Wolf-Gladrow, M. Butzin, J.B. Halpern, K. Rice, and R.E. Zeebe, "Comment on “ Scrutinizing the carbon cycle and CO 2 residence time in the atmosphere ” by H. Harde", Global and Planetary Change, vol. 164, pp. 67-71, 2018. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2017.09.015
- M. Grosjean, J. Guiot, and Z. Yu, "Commentary", Global and Planetary Change, vol. 164, pp. 65-66, 2018. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2017.12.023
- R.J. Fleming, "An updated review about carbon dioxide and climate change", Environmental Earth Sciences, vol. 77, 2018. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12665-018-7438-y
47 Responses to "Harde Times"
So, finally, the truth gets its boots on.
Gavin Cawley says
“As a result, authors submitting to GPC will no longer be able to suggest reviewers, and all papers will include the name of the editor that dealt with them. ”
Progress! Journals really should not ask authors to suggest reviewers. If the action editors cannot identify suitable reviewers for themselves, then either they are (currently) too inexperienced to be editors (as they evidently don’t know the broader research field well enough) or the paper is outside the scope of the journal. It is a recipe for pal review.
Alastair B. McDonald says
Harde is so badly written that no one spotted the main error. He thinks that the residence time of anthropogenic carbon and radiocarbon are the same, i.e. after the residence time of CO2 expires it no longer exists, in the same way that radiocarbon is destroyed and becomes nitrogen. Anthropogenic CO2 still exists in the ocean-atmosphere system, even if it is not in the atmosphere.
Paul Pukite (@whut) says
A metric that is informally used in physics research is to compare an author’s appearances at research meetings to their paper output. The salient point is that they will not risk facing ridicule face-to-face with peers yet have no problem leaving a questionable paper trail.
Also thought that having the authors provide a list of potential reviewers is not the best idea. In book publishing this leads to the practice known as “log-rolling”, where authors trade blurbs praising each others work. Spy magazine had a humorous column called “Log-Rolling in Our Time” where they would pair up authors practicing mutual admiration. See this Slate article: One Cheer for Cheering
Google “Log-rolling in our time” for many examples, or the Wikipedia entry for Logrolling.
Hank Roberts says
Link seems to be to an editorial behind a paywall; can anyone sum it up?
I gather from the first few comments that the authors picked their friends to review their article. Tsk.
Ray Ladbury says
So, not to blow sunshine up anyone’s kilt, but, basically, this is science working as it should:
1) A crappy paper gets though the peer review process and gets published
2) Its subject matter is of sufficient general interest that it attracts the attention of experts who actually know what they are talking about.
3) They rip it a brand new and fully functional anus.
4) The journal that was duped and the editor wind up with egg on their faces, but hopefully, the learning curve has a positive slope, and they actually learn something from the experience.
5) Science marches on. It doesn’t have to work perfectly. It just has to work.
Where things break down is that chuckleheads will say, “Oh, look. A peer reviewed paper telling me that I was right about all these eggheads.” Secretary Goodhair trots it out at briefings. Uncle Bob says at Easter Dinner that Faux News has blown the lid of the “Glowbull Warming Chinese Conspiracy”. And nothing gets done, but that ain’t science; that’s politics. That’s what isn’t working.
Hank Roberts says
Ah, here’s much more, including links to other discussions, entertainment for those of us outside the paywall:
Eli Rabett says
The way of these things is that sooner or later a bunny can sit at his desk and find copies on the wonderful world wide net. Indeed we have open copies of the comment that Peter Köhler put together
as well as the original
Eli will take bets on the Editorial Comment appearing somewhere within the next few hours.
Joseph O'Sullivan says
First, I clicked on the link to the RC article on peer review, wow thirteen years ago! Where does the time go.
Absent a retraction, papers like this will live on in the literature forever. This can be challenging for people who are not familiar enough with a field to judge if a particular paper is valid or not.
I know there are rankings of how many times scientific papers are cited, but are there any sources that tell how the paper in question has been cited in later papers?
In law there is a service that tracks court decisions and not only states if it was cited, but how it was cited, i.e. did the court completely affirm or reject what the earlier decisions said or did they differentiate what happen in the earlier case which made them only partially follow it, etc. The service is called Shepards and it’s used as verb. Shepardizing is checking if a particular opinion is still good law without having to read all the original material.
Is there anything like that in scientific litetature? About the closest thing I can think of are review papers, but they usually aren’t sexy enough to warrant publication.
Poor old Elsevier seems to have become the contrarians favorite publisher.
Judith Curry’s commentariat is agog at a paper announcing the geoid will somehow stop polar meltwater from raising sea level in the tropics
Hank Roberts says
Thank you Russell. That’s quoted from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1674987118300446?via%3Dihub#fig3
Phil Scadden says
“Journals really should not ask authors to suggest reviewers.”
I am not sure about this. In areas where science is pursued without polarizing political views, suggesting the person who will hate your paper the most is the best way to get serious critical review of what you have done. Where competing hypotheses are being considered, someone from the other side is better suited to appraising your methodology, provided they review with integrity (which would be the norm).
BJ Chippindale says
Well I started reading the free link Rex Fleming’s steaming pile and lost it at the intro – so fired SpringerLink a nasty. The intro contained two blatant misrepresentations – one about the origin of the theory of global warming and the other the omission (complete) of any reference to CO2 as being possibly related to warming. This part being in the nature of the review of existing theory, it doesn’t matter what he says of it further in.
Checked the author, zero climate science background.
They were had, and they either wanted to be had, or they just didn’t give a bleep.
If a journal has a paper that has such blatant errors that the scientists respond to rebut it AND excoriate the author in the best traditions of Pauli “Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch”, does the journal then PREPEND the information about the rebuttal to the original paper at least. Not retracting is perhaps understandable, that requires something illegal I think, but the innocent readers of rubbish should not have to read all of it to the end to find the label “this is rubbish” that is now attached.
Russell @10, Geoscience Frontiers is not really an Elsevier journal. As it notes “Production and Hosting by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of China University of Geosciences (Beijing) and Peking University”. This is different from the ‘normal’ Elsevier journals, where Elsevier is much more heavily involved in Editorial processes, selection of Editor-in-Chiefs, etc.
Gavin Cawley says
Alastair wrote “Harde is so badly written that no one spotted the main error. He thinks that the residence time of anthropogenic carbon and radiocarbon are the same”
That is covered in the comment paper submitted by Köler et al. The first section explains that Harde has estimated only the residence time, which is irrelevant for the purpose for which he tries to use it. It was also the first issue I raised when I contacted Prof. Harde.
Gavin Cawley says
Ray wrote “this is science working as it should:”
I agree, one of the problems with academic publishing is that there are no incentives for academics to perform this important element of quality control, and the increasing demands of “publish or perish” that have taken place over the last twenty years or so means that there is less of it going on than there should be.
Perhaps it should be a requirement of a PhD that the candidate has published a peer-reviewed comment paper? ;o)
The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says
Judith Curry’s commentariat was scooped years ago by Nils-Axel Mörner.
See page 21 of:
wherein we may read about thermosteric expansion of seawater:
A fact often ignored is that as the water depth becomes shallower towards a coast, there is less and less water to expand. At the shore, the effect is zero.
With ocean temps increasing, it is only a matter of time before we will be able to water-ski down the mountain of water that will form above the Mariana Trench.
Thomas P says
Re #17 This claim that sea level will not rise near the coast was also repeated by Mörner in “Sea Level Changes as recorded in nature itself”, Journal of Engineering Research and Applications. The statement was referenced to three articles by Mörner himself, neither of which I could see even tried to justify it.
Peer review is far from perfect, especially in strange journals covering a different subject.
Marco, thanks for reminding us that journals peripheral to foreign academy presses areamong the favorite advertorial stomping grounds of PR operatives like Soon, Singer & Michaels.
Tim McKeown says
There is another aspect to this story that is not addressed merely by noting the history of the processing of this single article. Suppose that a group of people were attempting to insert a false narrative into as many reputable journals as possible. They realize that the vast majority of their efforts will be rejected by a well functioning peer review process, but the value of securing even a small number of acceptances is enormous, so they bombard journals with a stream of scientific-appearing work in hopes that a few will break through and reach publication. It seems to be a problem akin to malware, where thousands of attacks occur daily on a typical large university computer system, and almost all of them are repelled without generating news. Then one of them is not repelled and it suddenly is big news.
Do journals ever analyze their pattern of received submissions for indications that they are the target of a process such as this? Do journals ever communicate with one another about possible strange similarities in their patterns of submissions? If this is like malware, then it should be also be treated as a systemic threat. Two years ago I would have dismissed this as paranoid, but now it seems unfortunately all too plausible.
Dan DaSilva says
The “peers” of peer review must save the world from climate change. Bad papers get through that’s a fact. If a bad paper does not fit the narrative all hell breaks loose. A bad paper that fits the narrative must be given a pass or ignored.
After all what is more important than lives of our children? Science cannot be an impersonal machine with no social responsibility.
Dan DaSilva says
The consensus uses the peer review process as one of the prime defenses of its position. In fact, the integrity of “peer review” is sacrosanct by many. So the “Pal Review” charge would seem to be troublesome.
However, the peer review process is in practice only “Pal Review” if the “Pals” are in agreement with findings that trend against the consensus. The sting of the “Pal Review” charge therefore never hurts or even brings a bit of thoughtful reflection.
A skeptic might say that a consensus is a group of peers who tend to act as pals.
Dan De Silva @21
“If a bad paper does not fit the narrative all hell breaks loose”
Let me edit that for you. “If climate change denial pseudoscience that breaks physical laws, is selective with evidence, and is full of mistakes is published, this tend to annoy sensible scientists”.
“Science cannot be an impersonal machine with no social responsibility.”
Snarky, stupid and sneering politically motivated clap trap. Says much about your worldview and motivation. Thanks for helping prove my theory (and other peoples) that climate science denial is mostly essentially politically motivated right wing drivel.
Barton Paul Levenson says
DDS 21: The “peers” of peer review must save the world from climate change. Bad papers get through that’s a fact. If a bad paper does not fit the narrative all hell breaks loose. A bad paper that fits the narrative must be given a pass or ignored.
BPL: You have no idea–none at all–what peer review is supposed to do.
It’s never supposed to give anybody a pass. It’s designed to be as hard as possible to get through, and on purpose.
Nobody knows, ahead of time, which of 20 new ideas are rubbish and which are good. So the idea is to keep every paper out unless it can clearly demonstrate that it has something new and interesting to say.
I have probably submitted several dozen papers to journals in my life. You know how many made it through peer review and got published? Two. And that’s exactly how the process is supposed to work. It’s deliberately made as high a bar as possible.
Bad papers still get through peer review, but they are very much exceptions.
Steve Milesworthy says
I have a great new disproof of the fake CO2 conspiracy. If you want reviewers please ask the famous climate scientists:
gavinschmit4354 at hotmail.com
jameshanson521 at yahoo.com
Obviously, just joking. But where I work journal editors were recently warned to check addresses provided for suggested reviewers in case the name was real and appropriate, but the address was fake.
Dan DaSilva says
24 Barton Paul Levenson
“You have no idea–none at all–what peer review is supposed to do.”
The question of what peer review is supposed to do does not tell us if it is working. For peer review to really work it must be for truth at any cost. That is very hard for anybody. If you are reviewing a math paper with no political or social significance this would be much easier. Global Warming/Climate Change is very far from that.
Are we able to seek the truth at any cost with no bias? If anybody does they have surpassed the vast majority of the human race.
Dan DaSilva says
“Snarky, stupid and sneering politically motivated clap trap.”
I was trying sarcasm, not always a good idea. Guess it did leave an impression though. Love the passion of realcliamte readers (not sarcasm). Watch out passion will sometimes hide the truth.
Kevin McKinney says
DDS, #22–“The sting of the “Pal Review” charge…”
Or like Harde et al?
You seem to have displaced the subject at hand from one group to quite another.
Kevin McKinney @28, the scepticalscience pal review article was interesting. It just so happens Chis De Freitas was a notorious climate sceptic in my country of New Zealand, and he regulary wrote sceptical articles for our leading newspaper, unfortunately.
These articles were relentlessly and very misleading and eventually I had enough, and emailed the man and told him to write a retraction, or I would be lodging a formal complaint with the newspaper, his employer (a local university) and anyone else I could think of. I don’t particularly like complaining like this, but if you read his articles you might understand why I did. He didnt write a retraction of his claims, but he never wrote another article, so I was happy with that and let the matter rest.
De Freitas published something claiming global warming is all caused by el nino. Suffice to say it was a very unconvincing idea.
I have never seen any peer reviewer guidelines which state the purpose of peer review is “truth at any cost”. Wherever did you get this silly idea?
FYI, the Nature reviewer guidelines are found at https://www.nature.com/authors/policies/peer_review.html
Dan DaSilva says
“Wherever did you get this silly idea?”
Just my humble opinion on what it would take to make the peer review system work. Never thought of the truth as being silly but I do think truth should be a goal of science.
The “at any cost” may hyperbolic. If the future of the earth, my children and grandchildren depend on fudging the review I would fudge. Since I am not a scientist and do not “believe in Climate Change” that will never happen. Thanks for the opportunity to expand my views.
Dan DaSilva says
28 Kevin McKinney
You’re much better off getting your information from RealClimate but to quote
SkecticalScience:”The lone documented case of true ‘pal review’ was committed by climate contrarians”
I am not really that concerned about quote “true ‘pal review’ “. The much harder to prove cases are of bias, not fraud. Try to promote an idea which gives any credence to “men and women are biologically different” through a university women studies department and you will find what bias looks like.
Climate science is so politically charged that is approaching an atmosphere where the consensus may rule with that same lack of logical rigor.
As far as “true pal review” you must think it only happens by climate contrarians, OK.
Barton Paul Levenson says
DDS 31: Since I am not a scientist and do not “believe in Climate Change”
BPL: What you believe changes reality not a white. It is what it is. Only what the evidence shows matters.
BPL @33, true, but I think you may have meant “not one whit”.
Dan De Silva @32, you have this thing where you think climate scientists make up science that suggests the world is warming because they are “biased” in some way politically or otherwise. You dont provide any reasons, any evidence, and I have no idea why anyone would do that.
By anaology the discovery of global warming is similar to the way astronomers gaze at the sky, and they discover things like new stars and black holes.
I have heard it suggested it’s all a conspiracy to get government grants, but climate scientists were getting government grants before global warming was discovered or at least a big issue, and when you tell governments bad news like the world is warming, if anything you run the risk of them not wanting to know about it. Please just look at the way DONALD TRUMP is trying to essentially stop climate change research and cut NASAs climate funding etcetera, I assume you are aware of this!
There’s no evidence or reason to believe climate science is significantly affected by political or other bias.
You say “Try to promote an idea which gives any credence to “men and women are biologically different” through a university women studies department and you will find what bias looks like.”
Well this is your example of one department, so dont jump to conclusions that all are the same. Your claim is also nonsensical, because nobody is going to claim men and women are biologically the same. They may claim psychological differences are mostly learned. I dont think that would be bias, it would reflect the fact that theres a debate on the issue, and its not settled.
You do get some extreme feminists who want women and men to be literally the same, but this is a long way removed from behavioural psychologists doing research on how people actually are, and such views are unlikely to be widely shared by the general public (I hope). Its similar to Al Gore, his views are not the same thing as a climate scientists views, although I dont share or understand your intense dislike of the guy.
Your actually quite arrogant amateur opinion versus the professional opinions of thousands upon thousands of actual practicing scientists for centuries now since the Enlightenment. H’mmm…which to choose? Which to choose?
1. Which “biological differences” should a _scientist_ (hint to something you apparently do not know: womens studies is not generally considered a science even by womens studies professionals) give “credence” to that are “real” and untainted by any hint of cultural bias? Exactly how should said “credence” be “given”? Say, even given if on average “men” are 2% “better” at some particular thing purely for “biological” reasons, how do you enact your “credence” in individual cases? [Note: This is not to start an off topic discussion, it is only to point out your reasoning errors.]
2. Just because YOU filter your beliefs about climate change and the evidence for it through a political lens doesn’t mean others do. “Projection” is the psychological term given to this thinking distortion which is quite common among climate science deniers.
3. You might actually go to an AGU meeting some time and look for some evidence of all this “charged politics” in the climate science sessions you posit.
There is a real place for politics in climate change, but that is in the mitigation/adaption/amelioration areas which you seem to confuse with scientific areas. That said, political actions/inactions taken without reference to a solid underlying basis in reality rarely work out well in the long run.
Dan DaSilva says
33 Barton Paul Levenson
We are in total agreement. Are you the distinguished science fiction writer? If so I am honored. After reading your comments I must say that fiction seems to be your real calling, either that or ad hominem attacks.
If you are the author I would like to read some of your books, please tell me you are.
Dan DaSilva says
Thanks for the response, in general, it seems very well thought out.
Points of disagreement:
“thousands of actual practicing scientists for centuries now since the Enlightenment”
OK, you have gone too far.
I totally agree with F=MA, V=IR for example.
These two are my favorites.
(hint to something you apparently do not know: women’s studies is not generally considered a science even by women’s studies professionals)
OK, this is where some readers of RealClimate seem to think that scientists are superhuman. My point is that women’s studies consists of humans and therefore the danger is this bias reflects over to climate science because scientists are human.
Points of Agreement:
“There is a real place for politics in climate change, but that is in the mitigation/adaption/amelioration”
“That said, political actions/inactions taken without reference to a solid underlying basis in reality rarely work out well in the long run.”
Dan DaSilva says
Excuse me for cherry picking your comments but I like this one:
“Its similar to Al Gore, his views are not the same thing as a climate scientists views, although I dont share or understand your intense dislike of the guy.”
Last time I mentioned Al Gore, the readers of RealClimate defended him, do you think he has been “thrown under the bus”?
Also, I am actually quite envious of Al Gore:
He was voted President, then lost by Supreme Court decision.
He invented the internet.
He is saving the world from AGW, and he has made millions doing it.
He has become a large carbon sink to fight AGW.
Barton Paul Levenson says
DDS 39: He is saving the world from AGW, and he has made millions doing it.
BPL: Al Gore donated all the profits from his films to his climate organization. He was born rich, he didn’t have to get rich by promoting a fake crisis.
DDS: He has become a large carbon sink to fight AGW.
BPL: “Al Gore is fat.” This from the guy who complains about ad hominem attacks.
Who ever said scientists are “superhuman”? Oh, that’s right, YOU did. And since you are quite clearly no scientist why should anyone respect your statement?
Womens studies comprises mostly political/legal/philosophical/cultural writings. The writing there is judged on those bases. Correctly so.
It’s probably time to accept basic greenhouse effect equations now too after a century and a half or so of their standing up to all alternatives. They are a tad more complex but not overly so.
Dan de Silva @39
Do you not know sarcasm is the lowest form of wit?
Anyway while Al Gore should not be conflated with a climate scientist, he gets far more right on the science than he gets wrong. But I suppose that’s a bit nuanced for you.
Whats wrong with making a profit? Gore didnt “invent” global warming, and he is not making money by cheating, or criminal means, or impoverishing his employers or wrecking the environment. You should be focusing your venom on people like the Koch brothers.
Gore was a bit over the top if he said he invented the internet, but he was one of the key people instrumental in getting funding for the internet. Anyway, I trust you will hold people like Trump who make big claims 24 / 7 to your same standards?
Perhaps the source of your troubles is envy, and constantly thinking people have devious motives.
John Mashey says
1) I have no comment on the general extent of pal review, but for sure, the Climate Research / de Freitas case covered by SkS was pal review (I wrote the report that’s based on, i.e., Skeptics Prefer Pal Review Over Peer Review: Chris de Freitas, Pat Michaels And Their Pals, 1997-2003.
2) Harde. of course was one of Murry Salby’s big supporters:
2013.04.18 Murry Salby–VarenholtHelmut Schmidt U – Hamburg
‘Relationship between Greenhouse Gases and Global Temperature
• Helmut Schmidt University is a German military academy with 4 faculties: Mechanical Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, Economics & Social Sciences, and Electrical Engineering (EE).
It has no faculty in climate science or any equivalent, and as best as known from comments, no climate scientists attended.
• EE faculty Univ.-Prof. Dr. Bernd Klauer and (Former) Univ.-Prof. Dr. Hermann Harde, Physics / Materials Science were the local sponsors and introduced Salby.
John Mashey says
Anyone who claims Gore said he invented the Internet is simply clueless or worse.
See copy of original email by Bob Kahn & Vint Cerf Al Gore and the Internet.
I’ve been on interesting email lists, so that email got to me within ~day after first sent, bu sadly, has long since been lost.
They are of course Fellows at the Computer History Museum
Dan DaSilva says
“Do you not know sarcasm is the lowest form of wit?” Sorry I could not help myself. I will try to keep it to a minimum in the future.
“Perhaps the source of your troubles is envy, and constantly thinking people have devious motives.” Not devious motives, just biased like me and all other people, including scientists.
A genius mind does equate to self-aware mind.
Kevin McKinney says
#32, Dan DaSilva–
Thanks for the tip, but with all due respect, I’ve haven’t been that impressed so far with your grasp of climate-related ‘information.’
Which, however, is the issue you brought up.
I wonder–since the matter of applied epistemology (i.e., ‘how we know’) is in play throughout this subthread–if you’ve actually attempted to evaluate whether that idea is true at all. I suspect it is not, and in support of my suspicion, I present the following from the UCLA Gender Studies Department website:
(Along the lines of a previous remark I made to KIA, it hardly seems likely that a department calling itself “Women’s Studies”–or, as here, ‘gender studies’ would hold as cherished premise that its core object of study had no independent existence.)
Or, then again, it might not.
Your approval of my right to an opinion is ever so validating. Much obliged. But I wouldn’t go so far as to say that ‘it only happens by climate contrarians.’
I’m saying that it definitely *has* happened in the case of climate contrarians, and that so far it is only *known* to have happened in the case of climate contrarians. Humans are imperfect, and that certainly includes supporters of the mainstream science, so “never say never.” But the preponderance of proven misconduct in this regard is on the ‘contrarian’ side so far.
All of which makes it a bit bemusing that you bring up ‘pal review’ or ‘bias’ as a reproach to the mainstream.
Dan De Silva @45
I also have a tendency to be sarcastic. I have been trying to train myself out of it a bit recently.
We all have potential for bias and we all lean somewhere politically. I’m somewhat aware of my own biases, and make an effort to pull back from them and understand them. I did some papers in psychology at university which has helped. This is why I demand anyone who makes big claims about climate science, whether sceptical or catastrophic, show me the evidence. It gets me in trouble with people both sides of the debate.
Having said that, I think the evidence suggests agw is potentially catastrophic.
But perhaps consider it all this way. Imho the entire scientific method and publishing system is an elaborate system to minimise bias. Remember we used to believe the earth was flat, and created by god, or perhaps just always existed, and other things partly because of little more than gut reactions, beliefs, and fears and being told by authority figures or politicians. These are the fundamental forces that create bias in how we see the real world.
Along came science and observational evidence, and experiment. This minimises belief, politics, and gut reaction intruding. It creates a discipline that demands you look at data, cause and effect and logic, regardless of whether it hurts your beliefs.
Peer review attempts to find bad science tainted by bias or just bad science. The open society and free market make scientists compete a bit, which creates a way of exposing bad science influenced by bias.
None of this is going to expose all bias, and all bad research or flawed data and never will. But it reduces the influence of bias and bad science, and we don’t have a better system. You would need to read peoples inner minds or something.