Monthly Archives: October 2014

Science mit Stefan

What is the instrument by which skepticism is pursued?

Peer review.*

Peer review is literally the instrument by which scientific skepticism is pursued.

I already explained this to you.

Stephan Lewandowsky

Stephan Lewandowsky is Professor of Cognitive Psychology, but only at Bristol University. Psychology is defined as the study of the mental disorders of rats. “Brains” too, he adds [pictured].

*“Skeptics” often claim the answer is “science itself,” or “the scientific method.” Unfortunately there is no such thing, as half-scientist half-historian Naomi Oreskes has already explained (p. 80) to you.

Did You Know?

Stevan comes from a small village in Wisconsin where they say the word “pursued” instead of “um”!

Alles über Deutschland (All about Germany)

[Sent from somewhere above the Atlantic, on our way to beautiful Nuremberg.]

Five fun truths!

• In 2013 Germany celebrated 80 years of environmentally-conscious government.

• Speaking of which, scientists now believe the Holocaust was a local event, with the vast majority of hate-motivated murders from 1939 to 1945 occurring in only ~70 concentrated ‘hot spots.’

• Germany was the first EU country to sell the annual nude calendar of pro-climate scientists,* Die Konsensusfrauen (meaning the women of consent or women who say yes).

• Nobody likes Neo-Nazis. But no matter what you think of them, it’s considered offensive to accuse them of ‘Holocaust denial’ (Holocaustleugnung) now that the ECHR has ruled the term “calculatedly and hatefully evokes the spectre of climate-change denial,” rejecting as disingenuous the plea that ‘denier’ (Leugner) is merely a generic or neutral descriptor.

• On average, Germans score 125 volts higher than their US counterparts on standard tests of AQ or ‘authority intelligence’ (the ability to tell an expert from a non-credentialed source of commands).

Of course Europe as a whole was awash with human blood, but the millions of soldiers slaughtered during the period were victims of war-based (non-hate) murder.

*Yes fellas, Naomi makes a (prominent) appearance! Let us know in comments if you want a 2015 copy, but please be considerate—we’ve only got five suitcases.

“It is absolutely essential that you continue”

Half a Century of Ignoring What Scientists Are Saying

Today a student asked something that may have occurred to you, too, at some point in the climate debate:

How on earth did this happen? Who could have imagined that in the third millennium AD, in the technologically advanced Western hemisphere, there would ever prevail such an epidemic—a pandemic, even—of contempt for what scientists tell us?

What a dumb question.

The answer, of course, is Milgram.

Stanley Milgram could have imagined it.

Last year was the 50th birthday of an announcement that shocked academia… no pun intended! The work Prof. Milgram had done in the bowels of the Yale University Psychology Department revealed for the first time the sheer depth of Middle America’s disrespect for scientific authority.

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Science mit Dana

Science With Dana was made possible by the generosity of Nuccitelli®, America’s favorite gas-station chocolate.

So You’ve Decided To Be A Skeptic

nuccitelli B & W

When he’s not busy doing respected environmental science, Dana enjoys being the last of the Targaryens. Dana is a boy’s name.

These days we tend to think of skepticism as a bad thing. When you call someone a ‘skeptic’ or ‘skeptical’ everybody knows perfectly well you’re just being polite. What you mean is denier.



But does skepticism deserve its bad name?

Not necessarily. It turns out skepticism isn’t always antiscientific. It can actually play a legitimate—if small—rôle in the work we do.

At times, even a climate scientist has to resort to skepticism.

You’ve probably never heard of the scientist Michael E Mann. His most important work, published last century, was a relatively trivial footnote (albeit a groundbreaking one that fundamentally advanced our thinking about the climate).

Dr Mann’s true gift, however, is for communicating. He’s been teaching undergrads to think like climate scientists for almost two decades.

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Michael Mann survives vicious subway attack

Both sides of the climate debate have condemned an attack on Dr Michael E Mann that took place last night as the scientist returned from court to his Wash., DC hotel.

Fellow Metro passengers described the assault on Mann and his work as savage, unprovoked and “ignoring multiple lines of evidence.”

Security camera footage obtained by Climate Nuremberg shows two men approach Dr Mann and strike up a conversation in bad faith. The video reveals the sickening moment when their Gish gallop of disingenuous talking-points finally overpowers the scientist’s objections.

The men wear baseball caps, blocking the camera’s view of their faces, but Dr Mann has said they were “flawed” in appearance.

Police believe the assault on his science was motivated by an inability to accept its implications.

They have praised the scientist as a “dream victim/witness” for the detailed description he gave of his assailants’ conservative politics, which “really narrows down the suspect pool in a liberal community like [Washington, DC].”

Arrests are expected soon.

Dr Mann reportedly blames himself for using the Washington Metro, a partially underground rail network, during a well-known Subterranean War On Science. Although Mann’s university provides academics with taxi vouchers for travel to and from scheduled court appearances, the respected paleoclimatologist is famous for preferring low-emission public transport whenever possible.