Thursday, 27 June 2013

The End Of The Peer Review Show


MattN says:
You can’t make up the crap SkS spews forth.

But you can make up the stuff that WUWT spews forth.  Evidence - some of this week's wonder posts. Try this on ice loss or this on peer review.  Then there is Wallace and Gromit's latest meandering, this time on poverty.

The key to making it up comes under the Submit story button:

6. All submissions are reviewed. Generally 10% or less are accepted, so do your best! We give credit to the story submitter, and bonus points are given for people who post under their full names. Stories submitted may or may not be published at the discretion of the editorial stuff. Those that are published may be edited for size, accuracy, content etc. and become to property of WUWT.

 I've underlined a nice statistic.  Only 1 in 10 submissions gets through because, get this, they are reviewed.  Who reviews them?  Anthony Watts? Dave "Smokey and the Bandit" Stealey?  Lord Monckton? 
Wallace Eschenbach enjoying his tropical island with a companion animal

Perhaps that's why they are so ineffective.  A gentleman's club that seems more interested in patting one another on the back is unlikely to get that knock out punch they so desire.  If what we see is the tip of the iceberg, what remains hidden must be really, really bad.

You can try to make a virtue of necessity.  When the fatal flaw in the Greenland ice post linked above was obvious even to the usual sycophants and dullards that comment on WUWT, Anthony Watts added the following comment under the headline:

[UPDATE: Several commenters, including myself, have remarked on a mathematical error in the author's work. I note this here in the expectation that the author will return to clarify and perhaps amend his claims. Having made such public mistakes myself, it's embarrassing if true, but that's the function of public peer review as practiced on WUWT. Thanks to all who pointed out the error. -w.]
 Public peer review.  It would be fine if that were true.  But it is a facade with nothing behind it, a Hollywood cowboy town set - hardboard front, no behind.  Peer review, let us not forget, is there to ensure, as far as possible, that what is published has merit.  It might be wrong, but it has made as good a stab at it as is possible.  What Watts wants is to defend his precious posts, especially those by his stars (Monckton, Spencer, Wallace and Gromit) and corrections can go hang.  If he were interested in peer review, any sort of review, then he would insist that corrections be made, and promptly, and that misleading claims were retracted.
Another WattsUpWithThat post under construction

That would give WUWT some chance of being a real science site.  But the chance is missed daily because, unlike real science, where retraction really does happen, Watts isn't interested in science really.  It is the hanging baskets outside the fake bar in the fake cowboy town.  It is decoration.  Deniers don't really want the truth, I've found. They want to show that their argument is bigger than someone else's.

The truth isn't on there.

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