Tuesday, 27 August 2013

How a climate science "skeptic" reads a scientific paper

PZ Myers at Pharyngula linked to this so I have as well. Read it. It should be required reading for all deniers of all those areas of science where the detritivores hang out, getting their studio tans and hearing the echo of their own opinions. As a result of reading how to read a scientific paper, I thought I would see how this compares to how climate change deniers read them.

So I asked a fictional denier what they did when confronted by a peer reviewed paper from a reputable journal.

1 Reading the introduction - um, it only has the abstract on the Internet but that's all I need anyway, isn't it?

2 What is the paper about? - it's about the fraud of man made climate change so I know the paper isn't telling the truth. I don't need to read the whole paper to know that.

3 What work has been done already on this area? - does it matter, it's all faked up to get a grant anyway.

4 What precisely is the aim if this bit of research? - to get more funding to do more fraudulent research.

5 What did the scientists actually do? - don't ask me, I'm not interested in their methods since I know they faked it all anyway.

6 What results did they get? - the ones they wanted, obviously, since they made it up. And using fancy mathematics doesn't fool me, I can use Excel.

7 What do the conclusions say? - what you would expect them to say since they are frauds who make the results up and ignore urban heat islands or something like that. Since there has been no warming for (insert random number here) months/weeks/days it doesn't matter anyway.

8 what do other researchers say about this paper? - I do this because I read the comments section on WattsUpWithThat so I know that everyone thinks the paper is rubbish, except for a couple of trolls who ask questions or point out mistakes but they don't matter because sooner or later Smokey or Anthony will snip them for being right, I mean rude.

9 Who wrote it? - this bit makes it easy to tell whether it is true or not. If any of these names appears as an author, I can be confident that the paper is wrong:Mann, Hansen, Gleick, well any scientist with. Proper qualifications except Spencer and Pielke father and son.  Simple.

So there you have it. The typical denier, let's call him James D to preserve his anonymity, doesn't read scientific papers because they don't appear in full on the net all the time and they are written by Michael Mann.

Now if they follow the instructions and actually read the papers properly, deniers will learn something and might just understand why they have a table to themselves in the pub.

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