Just Your Typical Interview on Scientific Issues..

..typical, at least, if you are a skeptic.  Tom Nelson beat me to the punch on an observation I was about to make about this interview with Marc Morano

[Check out this selection of questions from alarmist Randy Olson]:
RO: Okay, so let’s start with this — do you have doubts about President Obama’s birth certificate?
RO: Would you vote for Sarah Palin for president?
RO: Are you an anti-evolutionist?
RO: So who funds you?
RO: There are literally hundreds of celebrities on the global warming bandwagon. Are they all mis-informed? And why don’t you have any celebrities on the skeptics side?
RO: Last question. So you don’t feel that you’re anti-science?

Can you imagine an interview of, say, James Hansen that asked things like

  • Do you have any doubts about the Bush National Guard memo’s publicized by Dan Rather?
  • Would you vote for Ralph Nader for president?
  • Are you an atheist?
  • Who funds you?
  • Are you willing to defend every statement Harrison Ford has made about global warming?
  • Don’t  you feel like you are anti-freedom?

The asymmetry of how skeptics are treated in the media is startling.

  • Matt G

    Very good observation, I thought the same thing when reading the article. I thought Morano handled it perfectly. And, to be fair, Olson claims he gave Morano a final review (whether that’s true or not, I don’t know, but I assume it is since I’ve heard no different). Either way, best not to whine about the treatment, that’s the way alarmists handle their problems. The public is generally tired of crying, I believe. The main stream media has been for awhile and remains heavily on the left, but stories like this are starting to get out, thanks mainly to the internet. We no longer have to rely on Dan Rather for our news, which is refreshing.

  • “RO: There are literally hundreds of celebrities on the global warming bandwagon. Are they all mis-informed?”
    “And why don’t you have any celebrities on the skeptics side?”

    1) Uninformed might be more accurate
    2) See question 1

    Climate change qualifications = celebrity status????
    I saw it on TMZ so it must be true?
    If 10% of the population thinks that way, we could be in deep kimchee.

  • The question about him being a Republican was eerily McCarthy-esque.

    “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Republican party?”

  • hunter

    Over at the Pielke, Jr. site, there is a troll named kieth, who is trying to pretend that AGW is true since come creationists are also skeptical of AGW.
    Dissembling and distraction are what people who are losing on issues do.
    The AGW community is reducing itself rather quickly to nothing more than distraction and dissembling.

  • orthodoc

    Actually, I thought Mr. Morano did a pretty good job. It’s true that Randy Olson asked stupid and biased questions, but no one on the right, and no warming skeptic, is ever going to get a softball interview. Mark Morano has clearly heard all these dipshit questions before.

    Basically, it comes down to an easy equation. Skeptics can understand and speak Alarmist, because we hear it everywhere, but Alarmists can’t speak Skeptic and get flummoxed when they hear it.

  • mbabbitt

    Orthodoc, I agree with your assessment. Marc Morano gave very good, sober responses to the less than honorable questions. He showed the maturity skeptics have acquired from years of ad hominem attacks.

  • Sean2829

    I had a different take on those questions. Those were soft shots on the usual talking points used by AGW promoters on anyone who challenged their position. It was a chance to set the record straight. My take on the interview as a whole however was quite different. You don’t see a careful choice of words the way a scientist would answer questions and certainly not the attempt to appear to be even handed the way a journalist might (and he claims to be reporter). He sounded more like a lawyer arguing for his side and “winning” was probably more important that getting drilling down to the right answer. I guess at some point everyone needs an attack dog on their side but I must admit he makes me a bit uneasy.

  • BargHumer

    Re: creationism, anti-scientism, anti-evolutionism and climate skepticism.

    Creationists are not bound by Alarmist or skeptic views. The information from creationist organisations tends to be skeptical but it is partly to do with the way they have experienced the wrath of the non-creationist science community over the last 30 years at least.

    It is great to see that the Climate skeptics keep running in to exactly the same problem that the creationists and IDers have, that is ridicule, anti-scientism etc, and strong scientific arguments refuted by by just saying they are refuted without actually refuting them.

    Now the problem the climate skeptics will have is that they want science to be open so that their views can be heard (rightly so but unlikely), but they won’t want it open enough so that creationist views can be heard too (anti-evolution). It is hard to have the one without the other because this problem is institutionalised (as skeptics are finding out), and is very deep rooted. If the scientific community is forced to deal with real science in scientific unprejudiced way then it risks its whole paradigm, authority, and power. It will never do that.

  • Fred from Canuckistan

    reminds of times past, when real inquisitions were routine . .


  • Wally

    BargHumer, skeptics don’t want “views” to heard. This isn’t a matter of belief or opinion, its a matter of science, facts, reason. Creationism is a belief not supported by any facts or objective reasoning, and can’t stand up to the scrutiny of science. Its a belief, or a view, formed by, well you tell me. Because you read it in a book you were told is special, or because your parents said so, I don’t know. This is similar to the AGW crowd. They aren’t following the science, they are following their opinion, beliefs or their “views.” So you see, if we are to draw a parallel, the parallel to draw here is between AGW and creationism, not the “skeptics” and creationism.

  • Shills

    I agree with Wally re. creationism (but not the AGW parallel).

    I can’t help but chuckle a bit at Wally and other’s displeasure at having the ID loons sit so close to them, pals against the powers.

    I do sympathise. No one wants to be bundled together with the silly ID’ers.

  • hunter

    If the AGW promoters had not abused science so much, the creationists would have nothing to hold onto.
    If the AGW community was not so desperate, they would not be asking the equivalent of ‘when did you stop beating your wife’?

  • Wally

    Shills, you’ll have too explain how the IDers are so close to us, other then how you saying so gives you your only chance at discreditting our arguments, because both you and I know its been getting increasingly hard to do so on issues with any merit. For months now the only arguments have been “the IPCC say so,” or “we have a consensus(!),” now its “you’re just like the creationists,” or the science is settled!” I haven’t heard an actual argument for AGW based on the science that doesn’t have an unanswered critisism in probably a year.

  • hunter

    Are the eco-terrorists and promoters of human extinction close to you AGW true believers?
    Grasping onto the idea that somehow creationists and ID’ers make AGW valid is a weak straw, even for a true believer.

  • John M

    One wonders whether Shills feels unconfortable being so close to the watermelon movement.


  • BargHumer

    So, AGW is a belief system, skepticism is a belief system, ID is a belief system, even though they are all supported by highly educated professionals scientists, all of which are targets of ridicule by the opposition. Each one thinks they hold the high ground, this being “science” whereas the others only hold “beliefs”.

    Nothing new in this. Kind of proves the point really.

    Whereas AGWers seem to be practicing a “follow the leader” game with a herd mentality, the skeptics are walking with one eye open and one eye closed hoping to reveal the true science of climate change without realising that their arguments about other scientific views (ID in this case)are just the same. Wanting to change the rules of the game so they can get a hearing whilst denying such opportunities to everyone else, and happy to just parrot the same old propaganda.

    “Nothing new under the Sun” comes to mind.

  • hunter

    Why are AGW skeptics required to be involved with defending any sort of creationists at all?

  • Wally


    Creationism is supported by highly educated professional scientists, you’ll have to excuse me while I wash the vomit out of my mouth. And while AGW is supported by these “highly educated professional scientists” the actual science doesn’t support their claim. Thus the belief system. Skeptics are the most dissimilar group here.

    Its pretty easy to claim you have science on your side, the trick is knowing which side really does.

  • Shills

    Lol. Nice reaction guys. But unwarranted

    I didn’t say skeptics are like the ID’ers, all I said was that the ID’ers sometimes see it that way, (THEY are the ones coming over and sitting close to YOU) whereas skeptics actually despise IDer’s as much as anyone else.

    Hunter says: ‘Grasping onto the idea that somehow creationists and ID’ers make AGW valid is a weak straw, even for a true believer.’

    How did you even get to that? Your strawman.

  • Wally

    Shills, I think you need to work on saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

  • Like your site. How about a link trade?

  • hunter

    Perhaps I misread you. If so, please clarify.

  • I had the same impression about Randy Olson’s questions, and took him up on his offer about feedback.
    Here is his reply which, to me, was a fair answer:

    “It sounds like you missed the point of the opening questions with Morano. I asked him the questions about Obama’s birth certificate and Palin to show the reader he is NOT a goofball. And he answered them perfectly, especially saying he’s only voted for Republicans twice. Those are the sorts of things that completely confuse the environmentalists who want to pigeonhole him as some far right radical.

    “Marc completely understood this, which is why you can see he laughed with the questions, plus I gave him the finished draft of the interview and invited him to change anything, but he had no qualms about it.”

  • Shills

    Fair nuff, if what i said was misleading.

    Again, I don’t care to argue that ID’ers are like skeptics, or that ID’ers validate AGW (I don’t know how you got that Hunter). Just laughing at ID’ers attempts to find commonality with skeptics and the skeptics ensuing displeasure with this.

  • BargHumer

    Whatever links may exist or be supposed between IDers, Creationists and skeptics, the links should be ignored. The issues should not be confused, and indeed creationists and IDers take both sides of the AGW debate anyway. If Wally wants to vomit out of ignorance of ID and creationism then why not, he is free to do that. Easier to vomit than open the eyes to what is really going on.

    Two points:
    1)We all want the scientific truth, but science is not just about facts, it is about assumptions and interpretation as much as anything. Calling something “scientific”, therefore it is “true”, is no different to the religious biggotry of bygone years.

    2) The parallel in the way Skeptics and Creationist are treated by the “Majority” Neo-religious AGW view and “atheistic evolutionary” view respectively is the only thing I am raising here. The Skeptic uses the same ignorant ridicule methods against IDers and creationists (when the AGWers flasely try to put them together)as the AGWer use against the skeptics! It is a great example of hypocracy, and it undermines the skeptic case.

    If AGW is significantly true then we need to know, and act on it. If it is not significantly true then we can act differently. Most people, myself included are unable to do rigorous science or understand all the issues, nevertheless we have to form an opinion – or is there a new priesthood to tell us what we must believe? We make a decision about whether we are Alarmist or Realist, Denier or martyr for the climate based on the information we receive at the level we can assimilate it. The very idea of “pure science” is junk – it does not exists. In this debate there are many “forcings” at play, that are anything but science, and the fact that AGWer use language like “flat earth” and “Denier”, and even try to lump Skeptics in with “IDers” shows that at the highest possible political level, this debate is not about science at all.

    So, if you want to change things, and avoid the billions of wasted dollars and euros with all their consequences (assuming skeptics are right, as I “believe” they are) then you need to rethink the approach to science and its pontifical nature, otherwise, as if often the case, it is not the truth that matters, only the one who shouts loadest, has the most money, or most influential friends.

    This particular title, “Just your typical interview on scientific issues…” shows that the skeptics have started to understand what is going on and how science itself has been hijacked. The Skeptic cause is seen in the same light as Creationists, a threat to the institutions and many peoples livelihood – as a kind of crusade against “true peer reviewed science” – but it is just a defence of the status quo.

    If you want to go to war for an important cause then you need to understand your opponent. You can’t settle for just understanding the bit you already know. It is the bit you don’t know that will thwart you.

    If the Skeptic cause is worth fighting, if true open science is worth figting for then quit throwing bottles in the glass house and help the rest of us understand the science in the most open, un-biased and un-biggotted way you can.

  • Graphite

    BargHumer – thanks for your comments – I really struggle to see why a few skeptics on blogs fail to see the parallels between scientific bias in the CAGW debate and the evolutionism/creation debate. The same parallels with not allowing peer review in mainstream journals and accusations of big money from vested interests spring immediately to mind! 😀 LOL

    People who try to link one side with holocaust deniers or claim that ideas make them vomit just show the weakness of their cause.

    “Its pretty easy to claim you have science on your side, the trick is knowing which side really does.” – The trick, I believe, is in separating the actual science facts from the theories based on your presuppositions that you then build up based on those facts. Ie if warming was proven beyond doubt, the +ve feedback mechanism is a completely separate issue…

    Operation science performs observable, repeatable experiments in a controlled environment to find patterns of recurring behavior.

    Origins science (evolution/creation) or at the other end of the spectrum predictive science (astronomy/ catastrophic AGW) uses assumptions and pressupositions to try to determine things we cannot reproduce.

    I love science, I have studied medical sciences and have an engineering degree and am fascinated by the way things work. People who abuse others for holding a different opinion or try to stiffle debate or understanding make me think that they feel inside that they are in the wrong and don’t want to face up to it.

    Let’s keep this progressing in the right way for the maximum benefit of the people of the whole planet.

  • Mark


    I think the problem is that people believe that the Bible is some scientific text, it is not. It happened to give a general account of how the world was created which was to be read or told to people who were largely uneducated at the time.

    If you actually read the account of creation in Genesis, it is remarkably similar to what happens in evolution considering the time when it was written and is written in a way that is understandable to the masses. It is not beyond belief that intelligent design and evolution are the same thing. Who/What created the forces that would spawn evolution? Who created the competitive environment. Heck who created the Universe itself with its laws of physics? These questions are not really answerable, as much as scientists would like to have the answer and therefore belong in the realm of faith.

    Now if you want to be a zealot and deny what Genesis is that is your business, but representative of a poor attitude and on the other hand, to be a Creationist zealot, and deny that there could ever be an expansion of interpretation is also their business, and a gross display of poor attitude.

  • BargHumer

    It is amazing how the Bible always gets in to these blogs and debates, and usually from those who know nothing about it. Try putting light before the Sun or birds before land animals – it doesn’t fit with evolution very well does it? Anyway, there are clearly many issues around Genesis but they are not for this blog.

    I really appreciate the work done on this blog and the comments (even the occasional vomit) and it is important that the stigma of creationism is not attached to either the AGW or NONAGW camp. In my opinion, the creation/evolution debate is more important (I am a creationist), but not here.

  • Shills

    Wow. there are a some creationists here. Don’t see many of them where i’m from.

    This is a page that addresses some of the creationist ideas.


  • Shills

    And this is one of my fav. creationist videos. What a joke:


  • hunter

    It all depends on how one defines creationist.
    And remember this: Orthodoxy (accepting evolution, in this case) is not a sign of anything, really. It is certainly not a sign of intelligence or good education.
    And unorthodox, from your pov, can be very well educated on many things, but happen to believe certain things about how we got here you don’t like, or maybe are not even scientific. That does not make them stupid, ignorant, or poorly educated.
    These issues- AGW, evolution, etc. do not yield to easy labels, no matter how much fun it may be to apply them.
    The guy who discovered the crater in the Yucatan that kille dthe dinosaurs became, later in his professional life, a very active, Bible believing Christian. and was a very well thought of geophysicist.
    He had no problem with believing that God created everything, including processes that led to dinsaurs and even the asteroid whose crater he discovered in the Yucatan in 1978.
    I am trying to give you a hint that easy compartments are not going to hold up under the test of reality.

  • Mark


    Like the bible states a general view of how the world was created. It is not suppose to give very precise facts. Just as when you teach your kids about cats, you don’t tell them about specific amino acid chains in the DNA.

    And as for your comment about being ignorant. Even the physicists assume that light came before the sun. What was the big bang? Now if you had wondered why he created earth before light – I might give you a point. Shows that you are just the same illiterate that you are accusing others of being.

    Personally I believe in evolution, and am a person interested in real science, but I understand what was in Genesis, and what the purpose of the creation passage is suppose to be. And it is not something which should be disparaged.

  • ADiff

    The scientific community has shown remarkable openness to challenges to all aspects of ‘evolution’
    (parenthetical because it’s actually a poor description for the whole body of theory), but neither ‘Creationists’ nor ID have successfully offered any real scientific arguments. The former has repeatedly
    presented fundamentally flawed arguments, most which have been seen repeatedly in past, the latter only philosophical speculation; but nothing really of scientific character at all. Yet science seems perfectly willing to entertain anything potentially falsifying natural selection, provided it’s really scientific and isn’t an argument that’s been entertained, and conclusively refuted, at least a dozen times before.

    One reason the scientific community need not be defensive toward any scientific work purported to falsify any part, or even all, of the theory of natural selection is its security in the repeated verification of that theory in the face of determined efforts to contradict it, with scientific evidence, not attacks on its authors. Contrast this with the ‘circle the wagons’ defensiveness and hyper-sensitivity of proponents of AGW theory. AGW proponents, both outside and within (as witnessed by the evidence of Climategate email) the scientific community, regard challenges to their work and criticism of their theories not as challenges to be scientifically refuted, but as threats to be silenced and marginalized. The need to vilify anyone doubting their work and theories is clear evidence of the weakness of these. If scientific evidence clearly supported their work against the challenges of skeptics, then that evidence by itself would prevail in the court of scientific opinion as well as the portion of the general public for whom evidence matters. True Believers in any pet theory that supports an ideological world view will never be open to contradiction, regardless how well supported. In their refusal to answer well considered criticism scientifically, but by attempting to suppress publication of such and to vilify ad hominem such critics, makes clear the True Believer mentality shared by many AGW proponents with proponents of Creationism and ID.

    Having dragged the cape of Science in the mud of their ideological commitment to their world view, its the damage done the credibility of science as an institution that opens the door for their like-minded brethren on the opposite end of the ideological horizon, to question the openness, and integrity, of even very well supported science.

    To the extent AGW proponents engage in attempts to censor serious scientific skepticism, silence well supported and scientifically coherent criticism (and not ALL skepticism or criticism is such, but quite a bit IS), and vilify skeptics with ad hominem and, now, association, they make common cause with enemies of science everywhere, from al Queda to IDers, and undermine the foundations of the broad acceptance of the objectivity of scientific inquiry among the general public.

  • hunter

    Very well said.
    Thank you. AGW is much more like a religious system, and is therefor much closer to ID and creationism in that sense.

  • Shills

    @ Hunter:

    I agree with what u have said (in march 8th 4:12). Do you think I don’t in some way?

    @ ADiff:

    You say: ‘The scientific community has shown remarkable openness to challenges to all aspects of… but neither ‘Creationists’ nor ID have successfully offered any real scientific arguments. The former has repeatedly presented fundamentally flawed arguments, most which have been seen repeatedly in past… Yet science seems perfectly willing to entertain anything potentially falsifying natural selection, provided it’s really scientific and isn’t an argument that’s been entertained, and conclusively refuted, at least a dozen times before.’

    This is how a lot of AGW’ers see their situation with skeptics.

    You say: ‘One reason the scientific community need not be defensive toward any scientific work purported to falsify… natural selection is its security in the repeated verification of that theory in the face of determined efforts to contradict it… Contrast this with the ‘circle the wagons’ defensiveness and hyper-sensitivity of proponents of AGW theory…. (whole para I guess)’

    Well at least one ID’er doesn’t see a contrast. They think science treats them the same:

    Barghumer says (MArch 6, 10:13): ‘It is great to see that the Climate skeptics keep running in to exactly the same problem that the creationists and IDers have, that is ridicule, anti-scientism etc, and strong scientific arguments refuted by by just saying they are refuted without actually refuting them.’

    Interesting are different perspectives, ay.

  • ADiff

    I’ve read reams of responses to ID arguments by scientists, patiently explaining why there really isn’t a scientific argument to most ID ‘theory’. About all I’ve seen from ID is repeated rehashes of appeals to irreducible complexity, a sterile argument which has been answered, in great detail, again and again, from optical organs to bacterial flagellum. In every case, other than blatant appeal to some supernatural actor, these answers have been directed at the ideas, the theories, the arguments, with scientific evidence supporting the case they aren’t actually contradictions to evolutionary theory. And how many times have we seen scientific evidence carefully prepared and presented showing (for the umpteenth time) that this or that purported artifact just didn’t hold up to scrutiny as presented by groups like the Creation Institute et al.? And yet when authors have suggested that a bare handful of geographically isolated tree-tings is a best highly speculative as a proxy for accurate past climate change, it isn’t the challenge to their data and interpretation that AGW proponents answer, but to impugn the motives, agenda, and character of the authors of those criticisms, while at the same time hiding their own data and methods or modifying and abridging it in apparent attempt to defend it from critiscm and attempting to prevent such criticisms from access to the mainstream literature and marginalizing the authors. The same is true of authors of long-term temperature studies when faced with claims of selection bias and contamination (the urban heat island idea, &etc). Rather than openly providing their data and defending it in detail, they’ve attempted to hide much of that data, and only offer further modified and ‘adjusted’ results (while secreting the adjustment mechanisms for the better part of a decade!) and demonizing their critics as paid shills of ‘Big Oil’ &etc…. These are NOT the tactics of honest science! These are NOT the tactics of men and women who honestly believe their data, theories and ideas are correct. These are the tactics of men and women who believe their ‘views’, their policy goals, their ideological beliefs, are more important than accuracy, more important than facts, more important than science.

  • Lance

    Not to turn this thread into a gang tackle of ID/Creationism but creationism is not a scientific theory. It is a dogmatic assertion that can brook no counter evidence let alone allow the possibility of falsification. Can you see a creationist saying “OK, that piece of evidence overturns the hypothesis. Let’s see what other theory fits the evidence the best.”

    To do so would destroy not just an hypothesis but their entire world view.

    As to ID, how exactly would you falsify that theory? No matter how many natural processes are shown to be explained by naturalistic causes they will always point to some process whose origin or mechanism is unknown as being “evidence” of the work of the creator/designer. ID is just the “God of the gaps” dressed in “sciency” language.

    If ID/creationism is true it cannot be shown by science. Science IS the process of showing that natural, repeatable processes explain the universe, and formulating theories that better and better fit observations of those processes.

    Evolution is completely falsifiable. As J.B.S. Haldane famously said “a fossil rabbit in the Pre-Cambrian” would certainly blow a good size hole in the theory and have it listing badly if not sink it entirely.

    No matter the evidence Creationism will always fall back on “that’s how God did it” or “that’s what the Bible really meant” when confronted with evidence fatal to their hypothesis. There is no way to falsify a theory that can always appeal to the supernatural to evade disagreement with the natural.

    AGW has taken on some of the evasive properties of ID. Its adherents are eager to make any observation fit their theory rather than changing the theory to fit the facts.

    While I can sympathize with Barghumer’s frustration with the scientific community I have confidence that AGW will soon be squarely on the same side of the evidence as creationists.

    However, if it turns out that observations begin to agree with climate models, global humidity levels increase at all levels of the atmosphere, the tropospheric “hot spot” appears and the stratosphere warms anomalously, I will have to change my opinion of the AGW hypothesis.

    I don’t (mis)use science as a pretext to validate my opinions.

  • BargHumer

    It is sorely tempting to jump in, but suffice it to say that Haldane’s rabbit could never be found in the pre-cambrian because if it was found at all then it wouldn’t be pre-cambrian would it? Most online debates between creationist and evolutionists end in a similar ways: lost in detail, lost in exchange of quotations, blinded by “MR.Big” in science, theological madness or both sides frustrated by the opposite sides staggering incredulity which leaves each party speechless. It is an almost pointless excercise as can already be seen above.

    There are lots of statements in the above comments that readers are supposed to just believe, and like many things, when put to the test they fail, but most of us don’t have the time or ability to test them ourselves so we rely on others to do it for us and then we parrot the results (me too).

    I don’t think most people, including climate scientists (mis)use science, it is just that they “know” what they are looking for, and they are already working within a self defined paradigm. The paradigm rules, not the science.

    It is easy to see the paradigm paralysis evident in the AGW and Skeptic views of most of the contributers here, though there are many good points.

    I agree with Lance about the observations, that if they start to agree with the models then my opinions about AGM will change.

  • Wally

    “It is sorely tempting to jump in, but suffice it to say that Haldane’s rabbit could never be found in the pre-cambrian because if it was found at all then it wouldn’t be pre-cambrian would it?”

    That statement implies a profound level of ignorance. How exactly do you think scientists date fossils, rocks or anything really? And I assume you if someone found a pre-cambrian rabbit, it would be single largest discovery ever. What makes you think scientist would want to cover that up? And from you comments it must follow that you don’t trust any of the dating mechanisms done by scientists. So, when we did up a 10K year old human fossil in greenland, or you great grandmother’s grave, your line of reasoning would then make the claim that we can’t determine the age of these things, so they must be the same right? Or even if we pick up rocks at the grand canyon we can’t determine time at which they were formed right? Its just a pile of BS that’s been pushed by hundreds of years worth of scientist. These are the kinds of things you have to assume or believe in order to make ignorant comments such as that posted above.

    “It is an almost pointless excercise as can already be seen above.”

    Yes, its terribly pointless to get in an argument about science with creationists or IDers. Quite frankly you make AGWers look like Sr. Isaac Newton.

    “I don’t think most people, including climate scientists (mis)use science, it is just that they “know” what they are looking for, and they are already working within a self defined paradigm. The paradigm rules, not the science.”

    This just proves you have no concept of what science actually is, nor have ever honestly done science. Science is all about asking a question, then trying to answer it. We don’t ask questions about stuff we already know (or even if by “know” you mean you only test a hypothesis, the vast majority of hypothesises turn out to be wrong and in attempting to prove one hypothesis, you find something completely different), maybe IDers or AGWers try to do this, in an attempt to reinforce there preexisting beliefs, but to do so is by definition NOT science.

  • Shills

    @ Adiff:

    You say: ‘These are NOT the tactics of honest science!’

    Despite your claims, do you think the skeptics have a clean slate? Surely not, re. climategate.

    Just thinkin aloud: As illustrated earlier, perceptions on these issues can be radically different. When do perceptions make a dif.? Well a judge or jury sometimes, an authority, an expert a consensus, a dictator…etc. The AGW theory has copped a lot of flak lately and is still holdin’ up. What ever the cause may be for AGW’s robustness (good science, corruption, conspiracy…) skeptics need to overcome this if things are gonna change. Make a good paper, incite rebellion, do somethin’ major (steal a butt load of emails, that’ll uncover the conspiracy if its there!…oh wait) i dunno. Alot of the past stuff has being weak. Right now AGWers are the winning team (whether rightfully or not), how is this gonna change? I’d like to see the truth at the end of this crap like everyone else. Any ideas? Any plans?

  • Shills


    ‘These are NOT the tactics of honest science! ‘

    You surely don’t think the skeptics have a clean conscience? stealing emails for one.

  • BargHumer

    Sorry Wally, neither the the evolutionist nor the creationist models of the history of the planet would predict or even allow a rabbit in the pre-cambrian.

    On the other hand, your attitude smacks of the same religious fervour that is seen in the AGWers. It is your choice to use words like “ignorant” and make assumptions about others’ intelectual abilities and knowledge simply because they have a view outside your paradigm, and you are forced to protect your paradigm. This is not out of security but of insecurity.

    If it depends on attitudes like yours, an occasional battle may be won but the war will be lost for sure.

  • Lance


    I wasn’t trying to bait you or insult you. ID/creationism is simply put, not a scientific theory.
    The hypothesis is that a “creator” or “intelligent designer” has at some time in the distant past interceded by supernatural means to design lifeforms.

    How would one use the tools of science to prove this hypothesis?

    The best one could do is say “I can’t explain the evidence using any natural explanation.”

    A so-called “argument from ignorance” is not science.

    Sadly this is just what AGWers do with CO2. They construct models that can’t explain the modest warming of the last century without CO2 and then proclaim “If we don’t put CO2 into the models we can’t explain the temperature increases.”

    This circular reasoning is the entire basis of the AGW hypothesis.

    BargHumer, at least you have theorized an omnipotent being to power your theory. AGwers have only an impotent trace gas, aided and abetted by exaggerated positive feedbacks, to back their tautology.

  • ADiff


    First of all I don’t think the source of the emails of any importance next to their content, content which obviously NEEDED to be public. Being ‘outed’ for lies and fraud isn’t exactly a bad thing. Secondly the evidence as I understand it suggests something quite different than ‘theft’, i.e. the source wasn’t ‘hacked’, the content was placed on a publicly facing server, making it simply more available download-able content. Downloading public facing content isn’t theft, it’s just recording what’s put in public for anyone to access. If I were you I think I’d rather suspect someone as the CRU who’s conscious led them to ‘leak’ the material. It certainly doesn’t seem it was actually “stolen” at all. That kind of thing isn’t all that unusual, especially at public institutions, who’s staff may feel the public has a right to know what’s being done with its money. Of course there are ‘climate skeptics’ who are crocks. But there are also many who raise serious questions, with substantial and good evidence, calling much AGW theory (and especially its claims to “catastrophic” character!) The problem with the AGW community is it doesn’t want ANY challenges to its views, good or bad. It seems to want its ‘theories’ simply accepted as if sacred writ, canon. That alone, if nothing else, is damning. Any ‘theory’ that can’t be challenged is NOT scientific, whatever else it might be.

    On a further note, as more and more evidence accumulates, it appears increasingly likely that AGW advocates, if not completely off-track with regard to CO2, appear to have substantially exaggerated the purported climate trends and even more substantially exaggerated the likely impacts. And that re-assessment is just with respect to the ‘science’. The AGW communities exaggerations of impacts and its unrealistic understatement of the impacts of CO2 abatement in policy are appearing more and more fantastic…as in ‘fantasy’, except perhaps to the special interests that might profit thereby.

    In science one must keep an open mind as more and more work is done and more and more data comes in. But it increasingly appears that AGW theory is more-or-less ‘off the mark’, and appeals to “catastrophic” impacts generally unrealistic. As that community’s attempts to disguise the theory’s dependence on feedback mechanisms by stressing that greenhouse gas theory was “settled science” (which it is, but that alone is completely insufficient to support AGW, as I’m sure you’re aware) fall apart, and as estimates and models of these are being shown lacking, the whole body of theory is increasingly on shaky ground. And as far as “catastrophic” impacts are concerned, the litany of predictions that are proving wrong in fact (glacial retreat timing and rates, sea level increases, storm intensity increases, drought increases…none of which are taking place as predicted!) is making “Catastrophic” AGW more and more a running joke.

    Increasingly it appears the significance of CO2 is questionable, the consistency and magnitude of warming trends over longer terms doubtful, and in general, the rather simplistic AGW model far less than satisfactory to explain what’s really driving climate fluctuations that appear more and more likely either driven by natural processes or factors not yet understood.

    Of course not being God, and not really understanding what’s going on with the climate system is a bit hard to take for folks who feel they should be able to play God with the world and everyone else. But then that’s nothing new. The Social Darwinists, Eugenicists, the Scientific Marxists and a couple generations of chemists and micro-biologists have at various times acted pretty much the same role, too.

  • Shills


    I wouldn’t call the hacking-implant of the emails onto RC merely ‘placing on a publicly facing server’. If it was just some insider with a guilty conscience then what was the need for the hacking of RC? That in its self is illegal. Besides the emails really haven’t shown much. This supposed insider didn’t have access to something a bit more damning? By the look of the emails, either the conspiracy-talk goes on via some other medium, is almost ninja silent, or doesn’t exist.

  • Reed coray

    ADiff. I thoroughly enjoyed your comments. What you say makes sense to me, and is said in a clear and concise manner. Keep up the good work.

  • ADiff

    Based on everything I’ve read about it so far, there wasn’t any hacking of any kind. Nothing had to be “implant[ed]” to gain access. No one had to ‘break into’ the source server. It was openly accessible from the CRU web site. Some party simply navigated there and downloaded the files with http. Where I come from (in the IT community) that’s not called hacking, it’s called downloading. The only thing that’s interesting was that whoever did the initial downloading knew exactly what they were looking for and where to look. And that clearly suggests an inside job.

    You’ve read them all? I have, and they’re really rather damning in my opinion…and not just the ones that have had a lot of publicity, but even more so the many which indicate that public opinion and political policy were at least…and more… important to the authors than scientific accuracy.

  • Wally

    Barg, telling you that you are displaying your ignorance of science is not an insult if its true. If the truth hurts you, its probably a sign that it is your paradigm is BS. Sorry…

  • Shills


    ‘Based on everything I’ve read about it so far’

    What have you been reading?

    ‘It was openly accessible from the CRU web site.’

    Why would they be openly accessible? Hope my uni doesn’t do this. And the RC implant was a separate hack, not the same one.

    Re. the content: Despite the method of disclosure, these emails have been out for months now, and nothing has really changed beyond the sway of the mass media. Why doesn’t anyone see the issues that the skeptics do? Maybe they are not so easily convinced? If things were ‘rather damning’ than surely repercussions would ensue due to the weight of the issue in terms of academia and politics. But nothing of threat to AGW has.

  • ADiff

    Dear Shills,

    I appreciate you have a different perspective, and your courtesy, but I’m afraid I have to really differ with you as to the relationship between the facts of the case, as we know them, and those views.

    There’s no trace of any exploit. No trace of malware. No trace of any brute-force entry. No trace of any spoofing or cracking… In fact there doesn’t appear to be ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL of any Hacking. All it looks like is someone accessed the system, through normal mechanisms and downloaded (or uploaded, we have no evidence which!) the files. That absolutlely points to someone inside the CRU tipping someone outside off, or possibly even actually delivering the files from the server themselves! The fact is there’s no basis for claiming they were ‘hacked’. “Given to or taken by people we didn’t (in retrospect) authorize” is more like it, although it’s almost a certainty whoever did take (or give) the files was ‘authorized’ to the extent of having legitimate access to them, whether the ‘big wigs’ at the CRU were aware of it or not. My guess based on what I’ve seen is that some party with perfectly legitimate access to the data either contacted an outside party and directed them there specifically to download them, or directly transferred them from the CRU servers to independent 3rd Party servers. Maybe this is a violation of non-disclosure agreement, or violation of organizational policies of the CRU…which case is yet to be seen…but it most certainly ISN’T ‘Hacking’ of any kind at all, as it’s generally understood, which is using malware and such to compromise access security. The CRU (and AGW community) would like to call this ‘hacking’, but the fact is they just weren’t able to secure the data against someone on staff or associated with them giving it out…and that’s all!

    see these views for another view….


    This article, which purports to demonstrate “hacking”, read carefully by anyone knowlegable about systems ‘exploits’ makes it pretty clear there is no evidence of anyone breaking into the servers at CRU to get the emails! Folks in IT: read it! Knowing how to navigate the web and how to upload and download files simply ISN’T hacking…except perhaps in the minds of those who badly WANT it to be!!! (Also note who almost all of what it says isn’t at about how the files were OBTAINED….but what was done with them AFTERWARD. It’s actually pretty pathetic in fact. It clearly points to a complete lack of any evidence indicating anyone compromised access security mechanisms. In fact whoever did probably just ‘logged on’.)


    The RC blog web site is irrelevant. Any public web site can expect numerous exploit attempts every day simply as a matter of course…I know we see several such attempts daily at my office. And I am certain none of them are coming from characters trying to “gather ‘data'”….they do them just to see if they can get in and see what they can see there… None of them…and I do mean NONE, would care 2 cents about anything like a bunch of old emails, unless they thought there were SSNs or cardnumbers in them, that is!

    Losing information from your organization due to poor and flawed COMSEC or INFOSEC practices and procedures is one thing (and it certainly appears to be what happened to CRU)…..being ‘Hacked’ is something very different.

    All this hack stuff is just a very lame diversion from the real issue facing the CRU and the larger AGW community.

    And if you can’t see the impact on AGW theory of recent developments of all kinds, all I can say is; keep telling yourself that…..