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Recursive Fury: Facts and misrepresentations

Posted on 21 March 2013 by John Cook, Stephan Lewandowsky

Our paper Recursive fury: conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation has been published. The paper analyzed the public discourse in response to an earlier article by Lewandowsky, Oberauer, and Gignac (LOG12 for short from here on), which has led to some discussion on this blog earlier.

Refreshingly, the journal Frontiers makes all papers available for free with no paywall. Another unique feature of this journal is that readers can post comments directly beneath the abstract. Unfortunately this has led to the posting of a number of misrepresentations of the paper.

In this post, I’ll be addressing some of these misconceptions (but being careful to practise what I preach, will adopt the principles of the Debunking Handbook when I debunk the misconceptions). So here are some key facts about the Recursive Fury paper:

Conspiracy theorists are those who display the characteristics of conspiracy ideation

Yep, just stating the obvious, right? Recursive Fury establishes, from the peer-reviewed literature, the traits of conspiracist ideation, which is the technical term for a cognitive style commonly known as “conspiratorial thinking”. Our paper featured 6 criteria for conspiratorial thinking:

  1. Nefarious Intent: Assuming that the presumed conspirators have nefarious intentions. For example, if person X assumes that blogger Y colluded with the New York Times to publish a paper damaging to X, then X presumes nefarious intent on the part of Y.
  2. Persecuted Victim: Self-identifying as the victim of an organised persecution.
  3. Nihilistic Skepticism: Refusing to believe anything that doesn’t fit into the conspiracy theory. Note that “conspiracy theory” here is a fairly broad term and need not involve a global conspiracy (e.g., that NASA faked the moon landing) but can refer to small-scale events and hypotheses.
  4. Nothing occurs by Accident: Weaving any small random event into the conspiracy narrative.
  5. Something Must be Wrong: Switching liberally between different, even contradictory conspiracy theories that have in common only the presumption that there is something wrong in the official account by the alleged conspirators. Thus, people may simultaneously believe that Princess Diana faked her own death and that she was assassinated by MI5.
  6. Self-Sealing reasoning: Interpreting any evidence against the conspiracy as evidence for the conspiracy. For example, when climate scientists are exonerated of any wrong-doing 9 times over by different investigations, this is reinterpreted to imply that the climate-change conspiracy involves not just the world’s climate scientists but also the investigating bodies and associated governments.

We then went on to identify responses to LOG12 that exhibited these criteria. Our analysis was entirely based on whether or not public statements conformed to the criteria just listed—we made no comment on the merit of any criticism (except in cases where speculations were plain wrong).

A common misrepresentation of Recursive Fury is articulated by one commenter who says “conspiratorial ideation is defined in such a way that any criticism of LOG12, whether true or false, comes under that heading.” Actually, our criteria for conspiracist ideation come from a number of peer-reviewed examinations of conspiratorial thinking and have nothing to do with the substance of any criticism of LOG12. Our objective in Recursive Fury was to demonstrate that some of those criteria arguably applied to the public discourse surrounding LOG12. It does not follow that any criticism of LOG12 involves conspiratorial thinking. Of course not. But if some (not all) critics of a paper on the role of conspiratorial thinking in science denial engage in, well, conspiratorial thinking in response, that’s of scholarly interest.

The criteria for conspiracist ideation are applicable without regard to a statement’s truth or falsity. Recursive Fury is not about defending LOG12. On the contrary, this latest paper puts on the scholarly record many criticisms of LOG12 that had previously been limited to blogs, and it did so without evaluating or rebutting the substance of those criticisms. Some defence!

A few critics have complained that we didn’t include their methodological critiques of LOG12. Such critiques do not fit the conspiracist criteria, which is why they weren’t included. Those critics are welcome to submit rejoinders or comments on LOG12 to the journal in question.

A range of different conspiracy theories are posted in Recursive Fury

Recursive Fury reports and analyzes a number of conspiracy theories regarding LOG12. These range from “global climate activist operation” to “ringleader for conspiratorial activities by the green climate bloggers,” to Stephan Lewandowsky receiving millions of dollars to run The Conversation.

Some folk are able to overlook these many documented instances and insist that “There is no ‘conspiracy’ Mr. Lewandowsky - no matter how many times you try to manufacture one.” Recursive Fury documents a whole spectrum of conspiracy theories. As you get further into the paper, the conspiracy theories become broader and more extreme until you get to my personal favourite – maths professor Kevin Judd being the grand poobah of the “global climate activist operation” at the University of Western Australia. Somehow, those who insist "there are no conspiracies" manage to skip over entire sections of the paper.

It appears that “conspiracy denial” may be another phenomenon associated with climate denial. One blogger cannot see that his claim that climate scientists “colluded with government officials to avoid the law” is conspiratorial. Similarly, another blogger thinks accusing the University of Western Australia of being “a base for this global climate activism operation” is not a conspiratorial hypothesis because he didn’t use the word “conspiracy”.

The Supplementary Material is “raw data”

As well as the Recursive Fury paper, we also published Supplementary Material containing excerpts from blog posts and some comments relevant to the various observed recursive theories. In the paper, we characterise this as “raw data” - all the comments that we encountered that are relevant to the different theories. In contrast, the “processed data” are the excerpted quotes featured in the final paper, where we match the various recursive theories to the conspiracist criteria outlined above.

One misrepresentation of Recursive Fury is that we accuse Professor Richard Betts of the Met Office of being a conspiracy theorist because one of his quotes appears in our raw data. This inclusion of a relevant comment in the raw data of a Supplementary Material document was reported in hyperventilating fashion by one blogger as a spectacular carcrash. However, there is no mention of Professor Betts in our final paper and we are certainly not claiming that he is a conspiracy theorist. To claim otherwise is to ignore what we say about the online supplement in the paper itself. The presence of the comment in the supplementary material just attests to the thoroughness of our daily Google search. 

Nevertheless, I can see how this misunderstanding arose. The Supplementary Material features the heading "Excerpt Espousing Conspiracy Theory" referring to the excerpted quotes that we pasted into the spreadsheet. In hindsight, the heading should have been  "Excerpt relevant to a recursive theory", because the criterion for inclusion was simply whether or not they referred to one of the hypotheses. The analysis of conspiracist ideation occurred after that, and involved the criteria mentioned at the outset.

In this context, it is important to point out that one reason we made the raw data available is for other scholars to be able to cast an alternative interpretative light on the public discourse relating to LOG12. As we note explicitly in the abstract, it is possible that alternative scholarly interpretations can be put forward, and the peer-reviewed literature is the appropriate forum for such analysis.

LOG12 is in press

The original “Moon Landing” paper (referred to as LOG12) is still in press and due to be published soon. The fact that there was a long delay between acceptance and publication is one of the quirks of the peer-review publication process. Sometimes a paper can move from acceptance to publication with surprising speed (as was the case with Recursive Fury). Sometimes it can take months.

However, this random timing has been over-interpreted by many parties, consistent with the “Nothing occurs by Accident” criteria. For example, one commenter argues that “LOG12 was fundemenatlly [sic] flawed from the start, and throughout. It offered no valuable insight or understanding as a result. It is clear to any rational outside observer it had one purpose - to be used to promote the authors advocacy of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming - and to demean and denigrate those who do not believe as he does. The fact this paper has never been published, as Lewandowsky's repeatedly claims, confirms this finding.” It will be interesting to see whether this commenter resists the “Something Must Be Wrong” urge when LOG12 is published or continue to assert that the research is “a fraud”.

Conclusion

Hindsight is always 20:20 but perhaps we should have anticipated the response to LOG12. The results of LOG12 implied that conspiratorial thinking is linked to climate denial, and hence might emerge in turn to defend climate denial against cognitive analysis – and that’s what happened, as we document in Recursive Fury.

Note: this post was cross-posted on Shaping Tomorrow's World.

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Comments 1 to 50 out of 107:

  1. Minor typo, sub-para #1 - New York Times

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    Response: [JC] Fixed, thanks.
  2. You guys are cracking me up.  In a good way.  Thanks. 

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  3. (I have cross-posted this comment on Shaping Tomorrow's World :-))

    Thanks once again John and Dr Lewandowsky.

    I especially love the last paragraph before the conclusion, regarding some of the discussion that has taken place on this blog and elsewhere (disclosure - I have been involved in some of them).

    Can I make a prediction? You have suggested that: "It will be interesting to see whether this commenter resists the "Something Must Be Wrong" urge......:

    I predict that he won't - and will post his usual long diatribes and he will be completely immune to any evidence or rationality that he may be incorrect. Anyone want to bet against me?

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  4. mandas

    And why would I want to just give away my money to you mandas?

    One thing that really stood out in blogosphere reaction to LOG12 (and I am certain will occur again in response to this paper) is the self-sealing behaviour. The usual suspects will be utterly incapable of seeing that there is anything off-key or irrational in their behaviour. And it isn't simply self-sealing by individuals. It is actually a complete, self-sealed community.

    They truely think that they have created a great movement against a terrible wrong, that something called 'citizen science' has been created by them; a superior tool for evaluating the world.

    I am sure their closed world offers some sense of emotional sustenance to them. Sadly it is a sustenance that has the same food value as fairy floss.

    We can now await Recursive Fury2

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  5. Further research can delve into classification of fissioning of rationality via uncontrolled mental chain reactions produced by excessive crowding of the like-minded into blog comment threads:

    Prompt Criticality Excursion
    Transient Criticality Excursion
    Exponential Excursion
    Steady State Excursion

     

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  6. Doug

    Don't forget Cascsading Idea Deficit Implosion.

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  7. To me, the paragraph where you say

    "A few critics have complained that we didn’t include their methodological critiques of LOG12. Such critiques do not fit the conspiracist criteria, which is why they weren’t included."

    is quite interesting. It is, of course, a direct refutation of the earlier paragraph where you note that someone thinks that any critique of the original paper would be considered conspiratorial ideation.

    Which is it? The net is cast so wide that any critique is conspiratorial ideation, and that is wrong? Or critiques that are not included in the analysis are omitted in error, because all critiques really are conspiratorial ideation?

    But, as you note, consistency is not a requirement - any port in a storm.

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  8. @boblaw : reread once again the previous paragraph. The previous paragraph stated that they selected the comments exhibiting conspiracy thinking characteristics defined in other papers. In no way do they state that all critics of LOG12 meet the criteria.

    You make the same logic mistake that was made for LOG12 : they study a subset of datas showing conspiracy thinking. In no way did they consider that the subset represents the whole set. And their focus is on the subset only, not the whole set.

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  9. I was fascinated to find one of my comments was included in the Recursive Fury paper's Supplementary data, alongside such exalted company as comments/articles by Prof Richard Betts (Met Office- Head of Climate Impact, IPCC AR4, AR5 lead author), Prof Judith Curry, and Paul Matthews (Reader of Mathematics Nottingham Uni)

    but I was concerned to find that my comment included appears to be quote mined and not displayed in full, 'quote mined' is how I perceive it, let me explain carefully.

    ie when I tracked down the link (I could not cut and paste it, some tech probs from PDF) I found that my FULL comment had not been included/quoted... just this:

    “someone has looked at the data. and the conclusions and title of the paper are utterly fraudlent. ie 45 out of 48 those that reject climate science REJECT the moon landing conspiracy theory” – Barry Woods

    LOG12 heading/Tilte:

    NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax:

    An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science

    the url provided in the supplementary data didn’t work for some reason (tech issue), so I had had a search for my comment and found that just 2 sentences had been used from a much longer comment.

    Why did the papers 'raw data' exclude my very next sentence? where I describe how some of the conclusions made (and title) of the LOG12 paper, is actually rected by its own data!

    "Looking at the data, those that most strongly ‘reject’ climate science, ALSO strongly reject ALL the conspiracy theories…" - Barry Woods

    MY full comment is show below, which backs up my statement, whilst linking to an analysis of Lewandowsky’s actual data for LOG12, a link which contains survey data, so anybody can check for themselves

    Barry Woods (Comment #102532)
    September 2nd, 2012 at 3:53 am

    someone has looked at the data. and the conclusions and title of the paper are utterly fraudlent. ie 45 out of 48 those that reject climate science REJECT the moon landing conspiracy theory

    Looking at the data, those that most strongly ‘reject’ climate science, ALSO strongly reject ALL the conspiracy theories…

    extract below-

    http://manicbeancounter.com/2012/09/01/lewandowsky-et-al-2012-motivated-rejection-of-science-part-3-data-analysis-of-the-conspiracy-theory-element/

    So what of the conspiracy theory that most the moon landings were faked? The one in the title 'NASA faked the moon landing:Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science'

    45 out of 48 of those who dogmatically reject climate science, also dogmatically emphatically reject the conspiracy theory. The two who score 4 are rogue results.

    In fact, the response is pretty emphatic in every group. Consider the abstract.

    We additionally show that endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy theories (e.g., that the CIA killed Martin-Luther King or that NASA faked the moon landing) predicts rejection of climate science as well as the rejection of other scientific findings, above and beyond endorsement of laissez-faire free markets.

    Let me be quite clear. The title of the paper makes a false claim from authors with an agenda of silencing opponents. It is entirely without any proper evidence.

    The other eleven results are below

    well worth a look at the pivot tables in the above link"

    that was my full comment, link:

     (http://rankexploits.com/musings/2012/multiple-ips-hide-my-ass-and-the-lewandowsky-survey/#comment-102532

    thus this full comment which linked to LOG 12 survey data, and fully backed up my concern that the title of LOG12 was not supported by the survey data (in fact, those that most strongly – as you say ‘rejected the science’ in fact STRONGLY rejected the conspiracy theories), making the title of the paper, problematic. and perceived by many, hence the criticism, that the paper was as deliberately and incorrectly provocative..

    NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science - Lewandowsky et al

    If you may recall from Skeptical Science and Shaping Tomorrows World comments by SkS regular Tom Curtis, he also had similar concerns (full comment, my bold):

    "Sou @42, the direction of causation conspiracy theorist -> AGW "skeptic" correctly represents the findings of the paper. The use of "therefore" in the title, however, indicates that that is supposed to be a logical inference. That is not supported by the paper, and is not reflective of the reasoning of any person I am aware of, or (I believe) any real person.


    It is very difficult to believe that the title is anything other than a deliberate attempt to be offensive so as to draw attention to a paper of poor quality, but which is thought to be useful for "messaging" in the climate wars. Steve McIntyre has incorrectly attempted to infer a moral condemnation of Lewandowsky from certain of my comments (now corrected). Let me leave no-one in any doubt. In choosing the title of his paper, Lewandowsky not only acted unscientifically, but immorally as well. It was a despicable act. - Tom Curtis

    link  Shaping tomorrow world blog here

    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/news.php?p=2&t=397&&n=166#1460

    I await the final publication of LOG12 with interest, as it would be of course by far the best course of action, to respond formally to a journal any concerns or issues with LOG12, than by comment on blogs. Unfortunately that is all that I and others could do, despite the paper having wide media attention, yet  it is still (not quite?) published. thus LOG12' many critics are not yet able  (many of whom, whose blog comment/concerns that the Recursive Fury paper is about), to actually formally respond to the journal Psychological Science.

    Personally, I do not see how LOG12, can be published with this title..

    NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax:

    An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science

    yet if the title were to change, the Recursvive Fury paper would be about, with criticisms about, a unpublished (in the journal) version of the LOG12 paper. This would make the publication, and of the Recursive Fury paper, in its current form problematic aswell.

     

    Please add my full comment to the suplementary data, as I think you misrepresent a name identifiable person comments.

    Additionally can you advice me of the ethics considerations and approvals for the Recursive Fury paper.

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  10. To  suggest, even by association rather than directly,  in the supplementary data that Professor Betts, a lead author of the IPCC and head of Climate Impacts at the UK Met Office espouses conspiracy theory makes one wonder if any other of those who the paper claims  "espouse conspiracy theory" are not "deniers" but proponents of CAGW.  Professor Betts in his tweets on the matter states the suggestion he is "espousing conspiracy theory, that's just crazy"  and "Lewandowsky et al are clearly deluded".  Naturally I assume you regret this incident as it does rather put "egg on the face".  Perhaps more significantly, Professor Betts, who is manifestly not a "denier" posted on Bishop Hill a site  more anti- than pro-CAGW and asks this question "The thing I don't understand is, why didn't they (Lewandowsky et al) just make a post on sceptic blogs themselves, rather than approaching blog owners".  He then  refers to Steve Mcintyre at Climate Audit as "Moderating with a very light touch" and states  "I doubt Steve McIntyre would have removed such an unsolicited post"  These comments clearly show that a) although he is a well respected climate scientist he is not averse to reading and posting on anti-warmist sites and b) he regards these two sites as being vety lightly moderated. 

    (-snip-)

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    Moderator Response: [DB] Moderation complaints snipped.
  11. Why do you continue along this line:

    However, there is no mention of Professor Betts in our final paper and we are certainly not claiming that he is a conspiracy theorist.

    Why mention him in the 1st place. Leave it go.

    Get back to the science, it works and you will win. This is not good if you don't.

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  12. "Self-Sealing reasoning: Interpreting any evidence against the conspiracy as evidence for the conspiracy."

    Is there not a paradox here that interpreting any evidence or commentary against the results of an investigation as standard and typical response can also be seen as conspiracy theory, and so on and so forth ? I have a suspicion that those who radically oppose any climate science or support everything regardless of evidence are singing the same song, just in a different key. It is rather reminiscent of radical left and right wing politics having remarkably similar outcomes.

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  13. (think I had a few tech problems making comments, my PC most likley,  please delete any earlier duplicate versions of this one. thanks)

     

    There is one assertion, which the data for the paper is based on, in the Recursive Fury paper, that is demonstrably incorrect, that I find very unlikely (no conspiracies theories please ;-) ) that the authors were not aware of:

    "LOG12 only received public attention in late August 2012." - Lewandowsky et al

    When, very public, and very widely read articles about the paper were written in July, in fact we would probably be not here today discussing this, but for these article, where myself, Paul Matthews, Geoff Chambers, Foxgoose and others named in this papers data, were raiseing questions and concerns about LOG12 in July

    Psychological Science (APS) itself wrote about the LOG12 paper on July 19th, which was duplicated in the Huffington Post (also 19th July) with over 400 comments.

    A Climate for Conspiracy - Wray Herbert - 19th July 2012 - APS

    The same article was reproduced with a more sensational headline (and url) at the Huffington post- baring in mind, see my earlier comment, LOG12 data does strongly not back up the paper's title, (the free-market angle having much stronger data))

    Huffinton Post (19th July 2012):

    A Climate for Conspiracy: Imaginary Plots and Global Warming - W Herbert

    Prof Stephan Lewandowsky personally sent a copy to Dr Adam Corner (Cardiff University,and Guardian contributor) who wrote about it in the Guardian on the 27TH July. (with over 1300, comments, including some of mine,as BBCbias)

    Guardian: Are climate sceptics more likely to be conspiracy theorists?

    Dr Adam Corner 27 July 2012

    "New research finds that sceptics also tend to support conspiracy theories such as the moon landing being faked"

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/jul/27/climate-sceptics-conspiracy-theorists

    Note the 'moon connection, and all conspiracy theories' being spread into the media, not something that the data supports, where in fact the data appears to reject this. (see earlier comment for evidence) which was of concern amongstthe sceptics, that another soundbite would be set loose amongst the media and activists denigrating them.

    Virtually nobody of course would ever be ikely to go and look at the original data/paper, just quote the press release, and the articles in the media (not even Dr Adam Corner had asked for the data - no scepticism there (see his comments at Talking Climate, link follows))

    'Stephan told me his paper was forth­coming and sent me a copy of it. I wrote about it, unprompted.' Adam Corner - Talking Climate

    Were the authors unaware of this Guardian article, especially after the personal contact from Prof Stephabn Lewandowsky, no email back from Dr Adam Corner and fellow resercher in the field, to say, look here?

    It was the Guardian article that 1st attracted the readers of sceptic blogs attention (Bishop Hill being a high profile UK blog, Andrew Montford author of - The Hockey Stick Illusion, and Hiding the Decline)

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/discussion/post/1904675 (70 comments)

    Note the readers started a discussion thread, not the blog owner.

    with individuals like myself and Geoff Chambers asking questons about the paper, then when Dr Adam Corner, reproduced the article at the publically funded blog - Talking Climate, the discussion continued there:

    http://talkingclimate.org/are-climate-sceptics-more-likely-to-be-conspiracy-theorists

    other late July, public articles and comments (just some examples) July 27 2012 http://notrickszone.com/2012/07/29/australian-psychologists-claim-climate-science-skeptics-are-the-moon-landing-conspiracy-theorists/ (19 comments).

    (P Gosselin mentions that LOG12 has already been mentioned on German warmist blogs, which I haven’t tried to trace). and this is where (I think) the so called 'pro-science' blogs were first publically identified as being the survey particpants

    July 30 2012 http://manicbeancounter.com/2012/07/30/lewandowsky-et-al-2012-motivated-rejection-of-science-part-1/

    all this raises questions, the Recursive Fury paper limits itslef to date from late August, claiming incorrectly that LOG12 only recived public attention in late August, when this is clearly wrong.

    And most of the detailed concerns about the methodology of the paper was already raised by its critics publically much earlier. yet the Recursive Fury paper does not capture that. a major flaw?

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  14. As a number of criticisms of LOG12, identified in this paper were of the title of LOG12 (which had been peer reviewed and is just pending publication)

     

    Will LOG12 be published with the same title?  has it had any further revisions since last July? (the version and title that got the medias attention)

    NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax:

    An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science

    If it does not have the same title (or has revisions), then presumably the recursive fury paper will need to be withdrawn?

    because the Recursive Fury paper will be concerning itself about a different version of the LOG12 paper, that was not published in Psychological Science and looking at criticisms of a version of a paper that was not published.?  (making a nonsense of the comments looked at in the suplementary data of the Recursive Fury paper

    Can you confirm whether LOG 12 will be published in its original form, or after any revisions (minor or major, ie title) especially, will it have the same title?

    thanks

     

    Personally, I would like to respond to the journal Psychological scence

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  15. something odd is happening with the comments, please delete any duplicates!! ;-)

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    Moderator Response: [Albatross] Duplicate comments deleted as requested.
  16. Barry Woods, all - Refreshing your page results in multiple submissions; I've certainly done it more than once. 

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    Moderator Response: [Sph]: I know. Sorry. I need to find time to add code to recognize exact duplicate comment submissions and ignore them. Too much to do, however, and too little time... I'll get there.
  17. If it does not have the same title (or has revisions), then presumably the recursive fury paper will need to be withdrawn?

    Papers are not retracted for requiring minor clarifications, or even for being subsequently shown to be completely wrong. Papers are retracted for serious misconduct or fraud.

    The paper was published in an academic sociology journal. Anyone working in the field will be intimately familiar with both the differences between a signifier and the signified, and the unpredictability of the academic publication process. Therefore I don't see much likelihood of future research being compromised by researchers reading this paper and failing to realise that the version of the first paper which the research subjects were responding to may not be word-for-word identical to the final publiction.

    Nonetheless it is a point which could benefit from clarification to avoid tripping up the lay reader or perhaps the odd novice researcher. It's a slightly unconventional thing to do, but under the circumstances including an additional webcite to the original draft would do the trick. Or include the original as supplementary data.

    But here's the puzzle: Rather than suggesting a clarification, you ask if the paper should be withdrawn. That seems to me to be a knowledge-suppressing rather than a knowledge-seeking approach to the problem, i.e. characteristic of denial rather than true skepticism. Surely it is better to have the work out there so that it can be evaluated, tested, built on or rejected, rather than making it disappear into a black hole for a trivial point of unclarity?

     

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  18. I have been following this and it is an interesting direction for the psychology of climate change responses. However as a sociologist I find this approach - typical of the psychology discipline - to be severely lacking of the social dimension. What of the life histories; the societal relations of power; the practices of everyday experiences to which these conspiracy theorists are exposed; what of the historical processes involved in conspiracy making; the historical societal structures that have contributed to conspiracy making; what are the comparable occurrences of such reasoning in other aspects of daily life (do people often respond in similar ways to criticisms about their team, political party, or work?) ; are senses of disempowerment contributing perhaps to a sense of empowerment by belonging to such conspiracy believers; and for me most importantly what are the institutional and societal relations that contribute to such unreflexive dispositions in the first place. To move forward with this study it could really benefit from further interdisciplinary investigation involving people trained in investigating the (largely unconscious) social. I’d suggest a few qualitative investigations would go along way –especially looking into the regularities of people’s backgrounds. I think Pierre Bourdieu’s ‘Social space’ involving a history of practices, and his methodological concepts of habitus, capital and field, would be a good methodological starting point.

    On a separate note I was very much glad to see the more sociologically endowed work of Norgaard (socially organized denial) getting a mention on this fine blog.

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  19. ...because the criterion for inclusion was simply whether or not they referred to one of the hypotheses.

    May I ask which hypothesis Richard Betts referred to?

    Perhaps one of the six criteria listed above, or something else? The term hypotheses appears an alwful lot in the paper so I'm vague to the usage in the above quote.

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  20. bratisla@8

    Please re-read my comment. I do not say that the authors of the paper think that all critiques represent conspiratorial ideation - I say that someone has accused them of of defining their criteria that way. The paragraph (in the post) begins with "A common misrepresentation of Recursive Fury is..." The contradiction is that someone also accuses the authors of ignoring certain critiques (which the authors did not include specifically because it didn't exhibit traits of conspiratorial ideation).

    The inconsistency I speak of is with reagard to the criticisms, not the paper itself.

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  21. From the list above, the self-sealing reasoning is the most efffective tool for the ignorance seeking.

     

    Even the fact that there is no evidence to back up denier claims becomes evidence of the conspiracy.

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  22. Kevin (17) My questions was whether and IF significant changes were made (especially the title), prior to publication to a journal of a work (LOG12) that was cited in other papers, whether it would require withdrawal (or minor) revision or rewrite of subsequent article, this is a fair question, I think. And an entirely sensible thing to consider, with no implications on the authors. As it would certainly be considered  in very many other fields of science, that this might be considered, I do not know the niceties of the social sciences..

    I do not think it fair to represent this/me as wanting to supress knowledge, nor a characteristic of denial..  Please note, I also stated:

    Personally, I would like to respond to the journal Psychological science - Barry Woods

    It is unfortuanate that I have not had the opportunity to respond to the journal yet, as LOG12 is currently still press (soon to be published I understand) yet we have another paper responding to named people that criticised the paper, yet they have not had the chance yet to formally respond to the journal Psychological Science

    May I draw your attention to a Tom Curtis comment here about LOG12 about his call for withdrawal of LOG12 when the paper was dscussed last year (in full please, as I do not want to misrepresent Tom, Tom's bold), what are your thoughts on his comment, which express similar concerns, and he sought withdawal for a re-write, ( I asked now if this occured, and that I want to respond) and is why I asked whether any changes had occured since the press release:

    "Tom Curtis - at Skeptical Science)

    A (hopefully) final comment on Lewandowski (in press):

    I have been looking through the survey results and noticed that 10 of the respondents have a significant probability of being produced by people attempting to scam the survey. (-remainder of long block quote snipped-)

    Link to full Tom Curtis quote

    There were no comment that suggested knowledge supression or characteristics of denial about Tom, so why for me with a far tamer comment, please do not assume motivations for someone percieved to be on an 'opposing side'?

    0 0
    Moderator Response: [DB] Extensive block-quoting snipped per the Comments Policy. Link to quote snipped hyperlinked.
  23. Ironcage, that was an excellent post and sums up some of my personal concerns with the reductionist methodolgy used in the paper.

    0 0
  24. This is the post I've been trying to put  up at Frontiers...

    To the editors, Frontiers in Personality Science:

    In table 3 of this paper, I am mentioned by name and identified as having been the first to have mentioned in public Recursive Conspiracist Hypothesis number 4 - namely that Sceptic blogs were only contacted after a delay. This hypothesis is quite true, as Professor Lewandowsky has admitted. Nonetheless, the fact of having been the first to make this accusation leads to me being accused of exhibiting the following symtoms of conspiracist ideation:

    nefarious intent, nihilistic skepticism, “must be wrong”; “no accident”, and unreflexive counterfactual thinking. From the definitions of these criteria given in the paper I extract the following:

    Nefarious Intent: “... A corollary of the first criterion is the pervasive self-perception and self-presentation among conspiracy theorists as the victims of organized persecution. The theorist typically considers herself, at least tacitly, to be the brave antagonist of the nefarious intentions of the conspiracy; that is, the victim is also a potential hero.”

    Nihilistic Skepticism: “The conspiracy theorist refuses to believe anything that does not fit into the conspiracy theory. Thus, nothing is at it seems, and all evidence points to hidden agendas or some other meaning that only the conspiracy theorist is aware of.”

    “Must be Wrong”: “The underlying lack of trust and exaggerated suspicion contribute to a cognitive pattern whereby specific hypotheses may be abandoned when they become unsustainable, but those corrections do not impinge on the overall abstraction that 'something must be wrong' and the 'official' account must be based on deception.”

    “No Accident”: “To the conspiracy theorist, nothing happens by accident ... Thus, small random events are woven into a conspiracy narrative and reinterpreted as indisputable evidence for the theory.”

    Unreflexive Counterfactual Thinking: “Contrary evidence is often interpreted as evidence for a conspiracy [...] the stronger the evidence against a conspiracy, the more the conspirators must want people to believe their version of events.”

    These definitions clearly identify me as being irrational and paranoid, and are therefore defamatory. I therefore request you to withdraw this paper.

    I note further that , in the section on hypothesis (4) (“Skeptic" blogs contacted after delay) in which I am named, only one piece of evidence is produced, and that is a quote from Lucia Lindgren. If you don’t withdraw the paper, you might at least correct it and replace my name with that of Ms Lindgren.

    However, that won’t absolve the authors of having defamed me. If we turn to hypothesis (3) “Presentation of intermediate data”, we see that the person accused of having been the first to pronounce it is Steve McIntyre. Despite the fact that this hypothesis also turned out to be true, it leads him to being accused of exhibiting the same irrational and paranoid tendencies as me, (except for “No Accident”). The link provided

    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/ccc2.html#22

    leads to a comment by Dr McIntyre (comment 8) to an article by Professor Lewandowsky. However, Dr McIntyre’s comment is not about the presentation of intermediate data, but about four entirely different subjects. The reference to the presentation of intermediate data is in two previous comments by me to the same article (comments 3 and 6). In Comment 5, a commenter notes that I had already made the same point in a comment at SkepticalScience, a blog run by second author John Cook, which for some reason was not included among the blogs analysed, despite being one of the “Principal web sites involved in blogosphere's response to the publication of LOG12” (title of table 2).

    One reason for not considering SkepticalScience, despite the fact that this blog is widely regarded as one of the leading blogs commenting on climate scepticism, can perhaps be found in the paper, where, under the heading of “Potential Limitations”, it is explained why the content analysis of blogs was entrusted to authors Cook and Marriott:

    “Two of the present authors also contributed to LOG12, and the present analysis may therefore be biased by a potential conflict of interest. This possibility cannot be ruled out [...]. [B]ecause data collection (via internet search) was conducted by two authors who were not involved in analysis or report of LOG12, the resulting “raw" data - available in the online supplementary material - cannot reflect a conflict of interest involving the LOG12 authors.”

    It might have been wise to indicate that:

    1) the two authors whose data collection “cannot reflect a conflict of interest” both run blogs which concentrate on countering the views of sceptics (SkepticalScience and WatchingtheDeniers)

    2) John Cook of Skeptical Science is coauthor with first author Stephan Lewandowsky of “Debunking Skepticism”; and

    3)SkepticalScience was the scene of some of the most lively debates about (LOG12) and of at least one of the first occurrences of a conspiracist hypothesis.

    I therefore suggest that, in the interest of accuracy, the authors replace the name of Dr McIntyre with mine, (since I do believe that my comment at Skeptical Science was the first to raise this hypothesis, the truth of which has been confirmed by Professor Lewandowsky) and my name with that of Lucia Lindgren.

    I haven’t looked at the attributions of earliest mention to the other hypotheses mentioned in table 3. However, I noticed that a quote attributed to me is false, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there are other errors.

    Finally, I would like to point out that by the time Cook and Marriott began their content analysis (August 28), the paper (LOG12) had already been the subject of numerous comments on blogs for at least five weeks, beginning with:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/jul/27/climate-sceptics-conspiracy-theorists

    19 July 2012 (400+ comments) 

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/jul/27/climate-sceptics-conspiracy-theorists

    29 July 2012 (1300+ comments)

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/discussion/post/1904675

    30 July 2012 (70 comments)

    http://manicbeancounter.com/2012/07/30/lewandowsky-et-al-2012-motivated-rejection-of-science-part-1/ http://manicbeancounter.com/2012/07/30/lewandowsky-et-al-2012-motivated-rejection-of-science-part-2/

    30 July 2012

    http://talkingclimate.org/are-climate-sceptics-more-likely-to-be-conspiracy-theorists/.

    August 2 2012

    The claim to have identified the earliest occurrences of the conspiracist ideation starting on 28 August is therefore moot.

    I therefore respectfully suggest that the wisest course might be to withdraw this paper.

    0 0
  25. @geoffchambers#24 I don't blame you Geoff. If I was named as 1st to say "Recursive Conspiracist Hypothesis number 4" in public I'd be mad as hell. And I don't even have false teeth.

    0 0
  26. geoffchambers @24, perhaps you should read the OP more carefully:

    "As well as the Recursive Fury paper, we also published Supplementary Material containing excerpts from blog posts and some comments relevant to the various observed recursive theories. In the paper, we characterise this as “raw data” - all the comments that we encountered that are relevant to the different theories. In contrast, the “processed data” are the excerpted quotes featured in the final paper, where we match the various recursive theories to the conspiracist criteria outlined above."

    There is no question that you first latched on to the fact that "skeptic" blogs were contacted after the science defending blogs.  You are not, however, quoted in any connection with the conspiracist versions of that theory that undoubtedly developed, as for example when Foxgoose wrote:

    "It does seem rather extraordinary that Professor Lewandowsky was able to put up a slide giving some of the results of his survey (including number of responses) on September 23rd 2010 - when he didn't send out final emails inviting his primary sources (sceptic blogs) to participate until September 20th.

    It almost seems as if he had decided on the number and nature of responses before the final data could possibly have been received.

    Is there a word for this novel form of data acquisition?"

    Oddly, he wrote that just three posts after your first suggestion, and you felt no need to respond reject his absurd, and undoubtedly consperacist take on your questions.

    I also think it is hypocritical of you to take offense at purportedly being identified as a conspiracist when you are a self avowed conspiracy theorist.  With regards to A Scott's "replication" of LOG12, you wrote:

    "I won’t be completing the survey. Here’s why. First, I strongly agree with several of the conspiracy theories, (secret services assassinate people – that’s their job) and I don’t want that fact being used to dirty the name of scepticism. Of course, my decision is a way of gaming the survey ..."

    Out of curiosity, do you think it is the job of secret services to kill incumbent presidents of their own country (President Kennedy)?  Or royalty and the wife of the heir apparent of their own country (Dianna)?  Or major civic leaders committed to bringing about morally necessary change through non-violent democratic means (Martin Luther King Jr)?  As these were the only conspiracy theories in LOG12 involving assassinations by secret services you must agree with at least two out of three of these by your own words.

    How odious of Lewndowsky et al to leave open the possibility that you are a conspiracy theorist when you, in fact, are a conspiracy theorist

    1 0
  27. corrections to my comment 24 above:

    For “Lucia Lindgren” read “Lucia Liljegren”

    For:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/jul/27/climate-sceptics-conspiracy-theorists

    19 July 2012 (400+ comments)

     

    read:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wray-herbert/climate-change-denial-_b_1686437.html

    19 July 2012 (400+ comments)

    0 0
  28. I agree with Ironcage (comment 18) that this work is “severely lacking of the social dimension”. If he wants to know more of the “life history, the societal relations of power, the practices of everyday experiences” to which this particular conspiracy theorist is exposed, please get in touch via my blog

    geoffchambers.wordpress.com.

    I’d be more than happy to discuss my “sense of disempowerment contributing perhaps to a sense of empowerment“ and “the institutional and societal relations that contribute to such unreflexive dispositions in the first place”.

    0 0
  29. I listened to a very good poscast on conspiracy theories, and one of the scientists involved said that some conspiracy theories are TRUE - for example, the manipulated groupthink that led to the Iraq war, and the Tuskegee syphilisExperiment ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_syphilis_experiment )

    Conspiracy theorists are reductionists who claim that because there have been SOME conspiracies, therefore EVERYTHING that undermines a core belief of theirs is a conspiracy. The critieria above are to an extent mental defence mechanisms to protect that core insight, which the theorist will perform incredible logical contortions to defend.

    0 0
  30. grindupBaker:

    @geoffchambers#24 I don't blame you Geoff. If I was named as 1st to say "Recursive Conspiracist Hypothesis number 4" in public I'd be mad as hell. And I don't even have false teeth.

    (-snip-).

    As Philippe points out,

    everybody should exercise restraint. A common characteristic of internet communications is the rapid loss of respect that people would keep toward each other if they were in presence of each other. All should imagine that they actually talking to a person.

    0 0
    Moderator Response:

    [DB] It is noted that a long series of comments were removed due to inflammatory rhetoric and tone by you in an initial comment. Accordingly, all direct responses to it were also needfully removed.

    Moderating this site is a tiresome chore, particularly when commentators repeatedly submit offensive or off-topic posts. We really appreciate people's cooperation in abiding by the Comments Policy, which is largely responsible for the quality of this site.

    Finally, please understand that moderation policies are not open for discussion. If you find yourself incapable of abiding by these common set of rules that everyone else observes, then a change of venues is in the offing. As indeed occurred over at Shaping Tomorrow's World.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it. Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

    False claims of ad hominem snipped)

  31. (-snip-)

    0 0
    Moderator Response: [DB] False claims of ad hominem snipped. Again.
  32. Tom Curtis,

    you say to Geoff (my emphasis):

    There is no question that you first latched on to the fact that "skeptic" blogs were contacted after the science defending blogs.

    That is not an accurate paraphrase of anything Geoff has ever written or, to my knowledge, believed.

    As Geoff is perfectly aware, the science-defending blogs were contacted last. They received their invitation emails after the other blogs.

    0 0
  33. For those interested in a social discussion on conspiracist ideation, I think one very relevant text (which I've referred to in previous discussions on LOG12 and RF) is Richard Hofstadter's The Paranoid Style in American Politics. There he discusses (in the light of some historically popular conspiracy theories) a number of characteristics exhibited by those holding such theories, such as dispossession, renegades/pendants, "emulation of the (perceived) enemy", and in particular the "double sufferer" - I highly recommend the embedded quote from Norman Cohn on that topic:

    “...the megalomaniac view of oneself as the Elect, wholly good, abominably persecuted, yet assured of ultimate triumph; the attribution of gigantic and demonic powers to the adversary; the refusal to accept the ineluctable limitations and imperfections of human existence, such as transience, dissention, conflict, fallibility whether intellectual or moral; the obsession with inerrable prophecies…systematized misinterpretations, always gross and often grotesque.”

    Note: The Hofstadter article dates from 1964. 

    1 0
  34. shoyemore:

    I listened to a very good poscast on conspiracy theories, and one of the scientists involved said that some conspiracy theories are TRUE

    Was it Naomi Oreskes, by any chance?

    0 0
  35. KR at 01:05 AM on 24 March, 2013:

    (-snip-)

    This may be a valid observation, but it hardly advances our understanding of anything. After all, “confrontation of opposed interests” is as natural as the air we breathe, and the vast majority of humankind have always been “shut out of the political process”. (-snip-).

    It’s hard what all this has to do with the debate between warmists and deniers. If ever warmists deign to debate with us deniers, it’ll turn out to be about our differing views on the likely climate sensitivity to CO2 and the efficacy of wind turbines - hardly the stuff to start a crusade or pogrom about.

    0 0
    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Blockquote snipped per Comments Policy. Hotlinked reference to other comment.

    Inflammatory snipped.

  36. geoffchamber - I believe understanding the positions and thoughts of those espousing conspiracy theories is indeed a useful consideration. And (IMO) Cohn's observations are an uncanny match to the expressed conspiratorial attitudes of many climate 'skeptics' - the "Auditor" who does no primary research (Renegade and Pendant), claims of uniform suppression by "The Team", the repeated seizing upon minor disagreements over details as somehow invalidatiing the whole field, and indeed the frequent "gross and often grotesque" misinterpretations

    A discussion of the science is always welcome; I'll just note that there has been very little of that from those who disagree with the theory of anthropogenic global warming. 

    Number of papers contrary to AGW

    [Source]

    What I've observed (again, personal opinion) in objection to AGW is for the most part - not science. 

    1 0
  37. Geoff and Barry,

    This whole faux debate that you are trying to fabricate is conveniently tangental to what really matters-- it takes the discussion nowhere and I'd argue that is your intention (conscious or not).  To better understand where you are coming from could you please answer/address the following?

    1) In your opinions, is the existence of this blog and the volunteers running it evidence of a conspiracy?

    2) If yes, please elaborate on what you think the conspiracy is.

    3) Do you deny the reality of the theory of anthropogenic climate change or anthropogenic global warming?

    4) If yes, do you deny that the consequences will be significant enough as to warrant action in reducing our GHG emissions?

    Thank you.

    0 0
  38. KR:

    Difficult to argue science with a black spot.

    Albatross:

    No no no and no.

    You're welcome.

    Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that Frontiers should withdraw the paper because Lewandowsky and Cook have been rude to me. Academic freedom must be defended, and Lew & Co have every right to investigate our beliefs or sexual preferences or whatever else they find interesting. They should correct mistakes though, and since every section of the paper is full of them, they hould perhaps start again.

    My big objection to this kind of research is not so much the specific accusations, but the lack of reflection which goes into them. What has LOG12 claimed to discover, after all, except that people who are sceptical about one official “truth” are likely to be sceptical about another. Even if they had established this fact (which they didn’t, because of their abysmal research design) so what?

    Similarly with “Recursive Fury”. People say stuff on blogs. So what? In the first month after the paper came out, we tore the paper to bits, and posted numerous questions to the lead author. Instead of answering, he posted a series of strange observations on our behaviour. By the time Cook and Marriott started their content analysis a month later, the paper was in tatters, and bloggers were amusing themselves commenting on the weirdness of it all, and speculating on Lew’s motives.

    It would no doubt be possible to compile a “best of” of us denialist bloggers to show what a bunch of nutters we are. (-snip-). We may well be a weird lot, but again, so what? What has that to do with belief or disbelief in climate science?

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    Moderator Response: [DB] Inflammatory snipped.
  39. Albatross 37

    1) In your opinions, is the existence of this blog and the volunteers running it evidence of a conspiracy? In on case yes.

    .So, either Mother Nature deigns to give the world a terrifying wake up call. Or people like us have to build the greatest guerilla force in human history. Now. Because time is up…Someone needs to convene a council of war of the major environmental movements, blogs, institutes etc. In a smoke filled room (OK, an incense filled room) we need a conspiracy to save humanity.

    0 0
  40. Tom Curtis (comment 26)

    Perhaps Cook and Marriott should read the OP more carefully. Brandon Shollenberger has found quotes in the paper which are not in the raw data. [sloganeering snipped]

    I don’t find Foxgoose’s comments “absurd, and undoubtedly consperacist”. Why do you think I should? Or rather, what gives you the right to decide what comments I should or shouldn’t make?

    You quote me as being a self avowed conspiracy theorist. And so I am. I believe that Guy Fawkes conspired to blow up Parliament and that the Reichstag Fire was the work of Nazis, though I have absolutely no specialised knowledge to support these beliefs.

    On the other hand, I reject the consensus view that the Turin Shroud is a forgery concocted by a mediaeval religious conspiracy, and prefer to believe that it is an authentic historical document. I weigh my knowledge of art history against my atheism, and art history wins.

    Of course I don’t think it‘s the job of secret services to kill incumbent presidents of their own country or royalty or major civic leaders. These people got killed, and it’s legitimate to ask questions.

    One of the most serious results of 9/11 (apart from the deaths of course) was that the horror of the event suppressed the normal processes of enquiry. Important questions about the responsibility of authorities never got asked because people were afraid of being labelled Troofers. The President and Vice President being interviewed in secret by the official enquiry was a low point of American democracy.

    The psychology of belief is a fascinating area of enquiry. [sloganeering snipped]

    0 0
    Moderator Response: [d_b] General point: insulting dismissals are marginally more acceptable when they're earned by being packaged with reasonable justification. Therefore, in order to employ mocking adjectives please be prepared to do some work; each vituperative remark that does not directly contribute to better understanding of the topic at hand will entail a heavy cost for publication.
  41. Brad Keyes @32, Indeed.  I say to Geoff!  There is nothing in my post that is, or purports to be a paraphrase of anybody elses opinion.  When I wished to indicate Geoff's opinion, I quoted him. 

    The question is, why do you find it so absolutely intolerable that I should give my opinion of events in my own terms?

    0 0
  42. @KR: please note the methodology of the study you cited:

    Classified as _supporting_ AGW:

    a) articles that deal with the causes of Global Warming and support AGW;
    b) articles that found discrepancies, minor flaws and reasons for doubt in AGW;
    c) articles that don't deal with the causes of global warming but assume it as a working hypothesis;

    Classified as _opposing_ AGW:

    a) Only articles that clearly reject the AGW hypothesis or state that other processes explain GW better.

    So the comparison is between a + b + c vs a; or in other words apples plus oranges plus watermelons against apples.

    0 1
  43. It looks as though I would have won my bet.

    0 0
  44. Geoff Chambers @40, your going to have to talk me through this, because your claims here and at WUWT are mutually inconsistent.  As previously noted, you claimed at WUWT that, "I strongly agree with several of the conspiracy theories" where the conspiracy theories under discussion are those on the survey for LOG12, and hence on A Scotts replication.  Ergo, you "strongly agree" with at least three of the conspiracy theories listed below.  You further (parenthetically) suggested your beliefs were rational because "secret services assassinate people – that’s their job".  That belief can only have been germaine if at least one of the "several" conspiracy theories you "strongly" agreed with was one of the three conspiracy theories relating to puported assassinations (placed at the head of the list for convenience).

    You have made the question of your actual beliefs about conspiracy theories germaine by complaining that you have been unfairly portrayed as a conspiracy theorist in LCOM13 when it turns out, by your own admission, you are a conspiracy theorist.  But, as you have made it an issue, just which of the following conspiracy theories do you strongly believe:

    CYMLK

    The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. was the
    result of an organized conspiracy by U.S. government
    agencies such as the CIA and FBI.

    CYJFK

    The assassination of John F. Kennedy was not
    committed by the lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald but
    was rather a detailed organized conspiracy to kill the
    President.

    CYDiana

    Princess Diana's death was not an accident but rather
    an organised assassination by members of the British
    royal family who disliked her.

    CYNewWorldOrder

    A powerful and secretive group known as the New
    World Order are planning to eventually rule the world
    through an autonomous world government which would
    replace sovereign governments.

    CYSARS

    SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) was
    produced under laboratory conditions as a biological
    weapon.

    CYPearlHarbor

    The U.S. government had foreknowledge about the
    Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor but allowed the attack
    to take place so as to be able to enter the Second World
    War.

    CYMoon

    The Apollo moon landings never happened and were
    staged in a Hollywood lm studio.

    CY911

    The U.S. government allowed the 9-11 attacks to take
    place so that it would have an excuse to achieve foreign
    (e.g., wars in Afghanistan and Iraq) and domestic
    (e.g., attacks on civil liberties) goals that had been
    determined prior to the attacks.

    CYOkla

    The Oklahoma City bombers Timothy McVeigh and
    Terry Nichols did not act alone but rather received
    assistance from neo-Nazi groups.

    CYCoke

    The Coca Cola company intentionally changed to an
    inferior formula with the intent of driving up demand
    for their classic product later reintroducing it for their
    nancial gain.

    CYRoswell

    In July 1947 the U.S. military recovered the wreckage of
    an alien craft from Roswell, New Mexico, and covered
    up the fact.

    CYArea51

    Area 51 in Nevada is a secretive military base that
    contains hidden alien spacecraft and or alien bodies.

    CYClimChange

    The claim that the climate is changing due to emissions
    from fossil fuels is a hoax perpetrated by corrupt
    scientists who wish to spend more taxpayer money on
    climate research.

    CYAIDS 

    U.S. agencies intentionally created the AIDS epidemic
    and administered it to Black and gay men in the 1970s.

    0 0
  45. Further to Geoff Chambers @40:

    1)  I note that you do not find Foxgoose's suggestion that Lewandowsky and co-authors had determined the survey results before the conducted the survey absurd.  Also noted that you don't think that that would invovle any sort of conspiracy (despite the fact that at least three would be involved.

    2)  I am aware that Shollenberger found three misquotations, which as I understand it are being corrected prior to publication.  I am unaware of his finding quotes in the paper that are not in the "raw data" and doubt that is relevant.

    I know so called skeptics really want there to be major flaws in LCOM13, and LCOM13 have obliged with some minor flaws plus the three misquotes.  But that does not adress the fact that the central thesis of LCOM13 is undoubtedly true - something I noted to myself at the time with a large measure of amusement.

    0 0
  46. Yah, you're right, AndersMI.  It's apples and oranges.  No one is actively working on falsifying the theory of anthropogenic global warming except "skeptics."  Thus, on one side we have those apples, and on the other side we have nothing, because Tyndall and Arrhenius died before the research window. 

    What is represented in that 99% is overwhelmingly support for our understanding of general circulation (which includes surface temp analysis and radiative transfer modeling) and how AGW fits into it. 

    1 0
  47. Although a recent occurrence came close, no thread was better deserving of the following metaphorical advice: "don't wrestle with a pig. You'll both be covered in mud and the pig loves it."

    I urge all that are able to think rationally to not waste their time.

    1 0
  48. Thus, people may simultaneously believe that Princess Diana faked her own death and that she was assassinated by MI5

    That's the same sort of logic as economists stating that scarcity of a commodity pushes up the price, while simultaneously stating that endless economic growth is possible in a finite world. How can an economically vital, increasingly scarce, finite resource, such as fossil fuel, continue to be affordable enough, or available enough, to promote infinite growth? (Answer: a magic pudding scenario exists, whereby a diminishing resource will somehow be replaced by a new resource, because of the infinite power of human ingenuity: we don't have to worry because "they" will invent an alternative before it is too late.)

    Similarly, how can increasing amounts of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere not increase the greenhouse effect? (Answer: global warming is a hoax and greenhouse gasses do nothing at all, so quit trying to get the peepul all worried.)

    0 0
  49. Tom Curtis:

    1) I note that you do not find Foxgoose's suggestion that Lewandowsky and co-authors had determined the survey results before they conducted the survey absurd. 

    Whether that suggestion is true or not, what's absurd about it?

    Also, remind me—when did Lewandowsky et al. come up with the title "NASA faked the moon landings; therefore (climate) science is a hoax"—before or after all the data had come in, been analysed and found to show a causal relationship ("therefore") between moon-Trutherism and whatever it is you imagine CAGW deniers believe?

    0 0
  50. Geoff Chambers did not want to take A Scott's "replication" of LOG12 because he didn't want to make AGW "skepticism" look bad.  Brad Keyes (@50) insists on reminding us that he is way to late.

    0 0

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