To give credit where credit is due I came across this American Thinker article this morning entitled, “We Are Doomed – - Again.” The author, John Dietrich, delves into the history and psychology of apocalyptic predictions including AGW.
It explains a lot about the “why” of these predictions, as related to religions, cults and even science. I would urge everyone to read it.
He hit upon one term “Pathological Science” that had a Wikipedia link on the subject. Now, I am aware of some of the things that go on with Wikipedia, but I found this to be very interesting in explaining what is going on with Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) scientists and the effect upon the believers.
To start, here is Wikipedia’s definition of Pathological Science:
Pathological science is the process in science in which “people are tricked into false results … by subjective effects, wishful thinking or threshold interactions“
Irving Langmuir, Nobel winning chemist, said:
“a pathological science is an area of research that simply will not “go away” —long after it was given up on as ‘false’ by the majority of scientists in the field. He called pathological science “the science of things that aren’t so”
Now this is starting sound REAL familiar. It explains a lot about what is going on with the battle of warmers vs. deniers and the “science” surrounding Climategate.
Bart Simon lists it among practices pretending to be science: “categories [.. such as ..]pseudoscience, amateur science, deviant or fraudulent science, bad science, junk science, andpopular science [..] pathological science, cargo-cult science, and voodoo science ..”. Examples of pathological science may include Martian “canals”, N-rays, polywater, water memory, and cold fusion (which remains controversial as there is ongoing published research).
To this list I would add Anthropogenic Global Warming.
Langmuir further defines Pathological Science as follows:
- The maximum effect that is observed is produced by a causative agent of barely detectable intensity, and the magnitude of the effect is substantially independent of the intensity of the cause.
- The effect is of a magnitude that remains close to the limit of detectability, or many measurements are necessary because of the very low statistical significance of the results.
- There are claims of great accuracy.
- Fantastic theories contrary to experience are suggested.
- Criticisms are met by ad hoc excuses.
- The ratio of supporters to critics rises and then falls gradually to oblivion.
So next time you see a warmer on here spouting non-existent facts please remember that they are really victims of Pathological Science and they are suffering from pathological science induced psychosis.
Note that this does not apply to Al Gore. He’s anything but a victim and, in fact, I’d wonder if he didn’t get the idea to promote AGW and reap hundreds of millions of dollars for him and his buddies from Irving Langmuir, who no doubt would be rolling in his grave at the thought. He’s obviously studied Joseph Goebbel’s propaganda techniques, so why not Langmuir?
When you combine the two you it’s a potent combination.
Possibly related posts:
- As Galileo was to the Catholic Church, anthropogenic climate change skeptics are to the Church of Settled Science
- Former NASA scientist debunks CO2 greenhouse theory
- ABC science presenter Robyn Williams seeks more truth, like seas could rise 100 meters
- ABC remains silent on climategate
- James Delingpole, tell us how you really feel about Wikipedia