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Old 15th Jun 2011, 06:27
  #8165 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 71
Posts: 1,560
Oh, it must be galling...

The weird doctor was not dug up by self; he was put forth as one of your own by one of your own! To me he exemplifies much that is wrong with the general approach taken here by anti-AGW skeptics.

There is a very strident critical tone taken towards the majority of climate scientists. Accusations of bias, fraud, etcetera are extremely common and people like me are told that we know nothing of science. (Here, 'science' seems to involve simply cutting and pasting such stuff as seems to reinforce a certain point of view with very little thought given to the merit of what is posted. To simply argue from general knowledge of what I think of as science, well, you lot want your little graphs and citations, when nothing else will do!)

People on the fringe, such as Dr. M., are taken completely at face value by the anti-AGW faction when even a slightly critical look shows grounds for serous doubt:

1. EIR is a Lyndon LaRouche publication, when LaRouche is notorious for his total lack of ethics so that 'guilt by association' must come into it.

2. Both the interviewer and Dr. M. were all over the map, with many points left undiscussed despite their supposedly being central to the argument.

3. Just going by Dr. M.'s tone, he is exceptional in both the way he puffs himself up and the way he denigrates professional colleagues. This sort of thing is a marker for the 'crank' in my experience.

At your invitation, a few minutes spent Googling Dr. M. brought up two other points:

1. He had been censured for misrepresenting himself and the views of the organization he was supposedly heading, at a professional conference.

2. He has a stated belief in the unscientific practice of dowsing. A quiet belief in this practice might fly, but to go on the record, as a prominent scientist? Sorry, no.

There has been a certain groundswell of support for dowsing, which is touching. It might work for all I know, but nobody has been able to show that in a scientifically acceptable way, which is sort of the point if you want to continue to view Dr. M. as some sort of Swedish god of science, as he was originally put forth.

Hey, I used to while away the empty hours in the Sahara watching the head of Maharishi International University, a once-prominent physicist, telling his rapt audience about how Transcendental Meditation fits with string theory. He might be right, for all I know, but I don't think I am going to refer to him as an authority on much of anything, since the general impression was that the cheese had slid off his cracker. The same should go for Dr. M., I think, but that might just be me.

There have been some good points raised here. For instance, I, too, am skeptical about these wind turbines that are sprouting all over the German landscape thanks to government subsidies. When you look at the overall carbon footprint, including the energy that goes into the structure, are they really beneficial, especially when you consider how burdensome they can be? Well, should one expect a serious discussion of this sort of thing with a gang of unruly children playing at science in a cut-and-paste kindergarten? 'Not really,' is my guess.

I only looked at one of your so-called authorities on your side of the AGW debate, when it was plain very quickly that he's quite a dubious figure. I guess that many of the other ones can be exposed in exactly the same way.

What response did this exposure draw, though? There was no real response to the facts about Dr. M. Instead we got a long list of the supposed wrongs by the AGW faction, completely beside the point, and the fact of his having published a peer-reviewed paper on a completely different topic, also beside the point. This is like asking, 'Do you think Leonardo da Vinci could be called a scientist?' and getting the answer, "Look! A squirrel!'

I guess that means that the facts I mentioned are inarguable and that you lot do not want to engage with those facts. Well, I don't suppose I would want to try and defend the man by arguing the facts either, but then I would probably not have been foolish enough to try and use him to support my argument in the first place.

By the way: That dowsing test cited by GG, first by GG as support for dowsing and then, after someone pointed out how it really debunked dowsing, to show that GG himself was skeptical of the practice (nice pirouette there), raises some questions.

The test used 43 dowsers who were tested about 20 times each over the course of two years, or roughly once every five weeks on average. That is sort of strange, isn't it? Does a dowser get all pooped out, so that he needs a long recovery period between tests? Or were these people tested once at the beginning of the period and once at the end, for about ten times each?

Can you direct us to the source document that shows the test protocol, GG? It would be interesting to read the initial hypothesis and the summary of the results. Call that 'science' if you like and I will not mind.

Last edited by chuks; 15th Jun 2011 at 07:08.
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