A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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Lewandowsky does “science” by taunts and attempted parody instead of answering questions

Stephan Lewandowsky is rattled. Not surprisingly. Right now, his blog has gone from a steady run of zero-to-three-comment-posts up to 200, and the skeptics are armed with cutting questions.

But the more he writes, the worse it gets. Skeptics have picked apart his methods, his data, his transparency, and his conclusions. His latest responses are childish taunts with variants of name-calling. What place does an unrelated smear have in a science debate? It’s an effort to distract people.

His paper, in press, has been shown to have a misleading headline, with worthless conclusions based on statistically insignificant number of responses, using a clumsy one-sided test — the aim of which was obvious to most readers. When asked for data he provided answers to 32 questions but still hides the results obtained to a quarter of his original survey, including the basic demographics. He changed the order of questions depending on the blog he sought replies from — effectively putting different versions of the survey up (see below for his explanation). He himself emailed or was named in emails to alarmist anti-skeptic bloggers, while he used an unknown assistant to email skeptical blogs. These non-standard methods were not described in his […]

Steve McIntyre finds Lewandowsky’s paper is a “landmark of junk science”

Steve McIntyre audited Stephan Lewandowsky’s data to weed out the obvious fake responses. That people would “game” the test was predictable given the clumsy nature of the survey, the one-sided nature of the conspiracies investigated, the virulently anti-skeptic sites where it was hosted, and the comments on the threads where it was announced. Obviously the survey hoped to show skeptics were nutters, and when it was posted in front of those who-hate-skeptics, readers obliged.

Steve McIntyre weighs in with a lengthy post, several original graphs, and concludes:

“Lewandowsky, like Gleick, probably fancies himself a hero of the Cause. But ironically. Lewandowsky’s paper will stand only as a landmark of junk science – fake results from faked responses.

As Tom Curtis observed, Lewandowsky has no moral alternative but to withdraw his paper.”

When the number of responses to conspiracies are graphed against the share that is “skeptical” of man-made global warming McIntyre reveals an interesting pattern. The “Oklahoma” point on the bottom right of the graph was the most popular conspiracy theory — but percentage-wise, “alarmists” were more likely to support this theory than so called “skeptics” were.

The line across the graph represents the proportion of the total responses which […]

Steve McIntyre on Lewandowsky (and Josh)

Steve McIntyre weighs in:

“As others have observed, the number of actual respondents purporting to believe in the various conspiracies was, in many cases, very small. Only 10 respondents purported to believe in Lewandowsky’s* signature Moon Landing conspiracy. These included a disproportionate number of scam responses. Indeed, probably all of these responses were scams.

However, Lewandowsky’s statistical analysis was unequal to the very low hurdle of identifying these scam responses. Lewandowsky applied a technique closely related to principal components to scam and non-scam data alike, homogenizing them into a conspiratorial ideation.”

Josh is so quick these days :- ) Thank you Josh. An excellent job.

* Correction: “Curtis’s” should have been Lewandowsky.



Josh is so quick these days :- ) Thank you Josh. An excellent job.

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Lewandowsky hopes we meant “Conspiracy” but we mean “Incompetence”

What can I say? Prof Lewandowsky, expert in conspiracies, thinks we are postulating a conspiracy — but the bad news for him is that we are postulating straight out incompetence, no conspiracy required.

How does Lewandowsky define “conspiracy”? However he wants.

I hate to say I told you so, but I did. Back in May 2010, before Lewandowsky posted his survey, he foresaw the results:

“This attribute of conspiracy theorising applies in full force to the actions of climate “sceptics” who operate outside the peer reviewed literature” [ABC Drum]”

and I foresaw what he would do with them:

“Lewandowsky uses the name-calling to “poison the well” against people who don’t even believe in a conspiracy [about man-made global warming], but happen to also be skeptical…Jo Nova May 2010“

Graham at OnLine Opinion (OLO) has posted Part II of a Fish rots from the Head and it’s quite something to see.

This post will look at the question of what is a conspiracy, and also what constitutes “conspiracist ideation”. The conclusion, just to save you reading to the bottom, is that Lewandowsky has no clear idea so adapts it to what fits his thesis. This is […]

10 conspiracy theorists makes a moon landing paper for Stephan Lewandowsky (Part II) PLUS all 40 questions

There were only ten positive responses.

There are many questions to be answered about this paper in “Psychological Science.“ Questions worth asking at all kinds of levels.

The authors, Lewandowsky, S., Oberauer, K., & Gignac, C. E., drew conclusions about skeptics by largely surveying alarmist sites. They got hardly any positive responses, some of which may have been faked (who can tell?). Then with a tiny ten positive responses out of 1147, the authors drew inferences about a group of people which must number between one hundred thousand to one million or more individuals. Worse, of the ten who thought the moon landing was faked, only three or four were skeptics. In the UPDATE below note that there appear to be three different forms of the survey, a point that surely needs some explanation.

The headline of the study “NASA faked the moon landing—therefore (climate) science is a hoax: An anatomy of the motivated rejection of science” is drawn from only those ten responses. Do I need to say it’s a sample size too small to draw any conclusions? I shouldn’t. But this point alone should have been enough for the paper in its current form to fail review, yet […]

Lewandowsky – Shows “skeptics” are nutters by asking alarmists to fill out survey

I‘m putting on a conservative, understated hat. This could be the worst paper I have seen — an ad hom argument taken to its absurd extreme, rebadged as “science”.

Professorial fellow Stephan Lewandowsky thinks that skeptics who are “greatly involved” in the climate debate believe any kind of conspiracy theory, including that the moon landings never happened, that AIDS is not due to HIV, and that smoking doesn’t cause cancer. But he didn’t find this out by asking skeptics who are “greatly involved” in the climate debate or by reading their popular sites. He “discovered” this by asking 1,000 visitors to climate blogs. Which blogs? He expertly hunted down skeptics, wait for it… here:

Deltoid, Tamino Scot Mandia, Bickmore, A Few Things Ill Considered, Hot-Topic (NZ) Trunity (unconfirmed?) John Cook (through twitter, h/t Barry Woods at Climate Audit)

This is the point where the question has to be asked: Did Lewandowsky, Oberauer, and Gignac really think they would get away with it? Did none of the reviewers at “Psychological Science“ think to ask if the “sampling” of alarmist blogs would affect the results?

The paper is titled:

“NASA faked the moon landing — Therefore (Climate) Science is […]

Lewandowsky bitten by a hoax

Professor Stephan Lewandowsky may not understand much about the climate, but he is a professor of psychology — so satire, humor, and hoaxes ought to be right up his alley, right? He’s realized he fell for the brilliant Alene Composta (a master satirist) replying to her and even sending her fake request for advice to fellow blogger John Cook (who fell for it too).

Alene ticked all the headline stereotypical victim-leftie boxes, her interests included “christine milne”, “organic gardening” and “batik hangings” and lets face it, “Composta” is a red flag, rather. So she wrote to Lewandowsky begging for advice in dealing with monster commenters from Bolt and Blair, and notably pointed to him surviving my scorn and ridicule:

I recently began blogging, especially about climate change, and after a month my site was noticed. Noticed by the wrong people, sadly. Readers of Tim Blair and Andrew Bolt have swamped my site with genuinely abusive comments, many relating to my disability, which I find very hurtful.

So my question to you is this: How do you deal with monsters like this?

I have read and savoured every column you have published at Unleashed, and I have read the hateful comments […]

Lewandowsky: the ABC parades a witchdoctor again

Once more the ABC is posting logical failures, confused non-evidence, and baseless thinking. This time Professorial Fellow Stephan Lewandowsky also tries to talk about economic cost benefits, without analyzing either costs or benefits, and doesn’t seem to know the difference between a free market and a fixed one. Why do they bother?

Lewandowsky says we should act — despite the supposed “lack of certainty”. Given that there are multiple studies and empirical evidence that suggests carbon has no catastrophic effect, what he is effectively saying is we should ignore the observations and be obedient to the Gods of “science” instead. It harks straight from our stone age tribal era.

Right from the outset, let’s be clear, that for all Lewandowsky’s bluster about the scientific evidence, he has never once posted any reference showing observational evidence that the touted positive feedback written into the models-of-doom has any basis in fact. As usual, he points to the Biblical “Consensus”, even though we’ve pointed out the basics of science (that consensus is an unscientific, illogical argument from authority, and is baseless in science). When the government has poured in billions to “find” a consensus, it would be flat out shocking if they couldn’t […]

Democrat admits climate dogma loses to skeptics, asks YouTube to block them instead

If only they had overwhelming evidence they could post YouTubes that were popular

As Steve Milloy says “Not only are we winning the debate… we are forcing our opponents to show who the actual would-be-dictators are. “

Here’s Dem Kathy Castor writing to the YouTube CEO to ask him to stop YouTube suggesting skeptical videos as “up next” or earning advertising money.

To Sundar Pichai,

CEO, Google, CA

[snip intro]

As we all work together to solve this crisis [climate change], we must also eliminate barriers to action, including those as pervasive and harmful as climate denial and climate misinformation.

That’s why I urge you to ensure that Youtube is not incentivising video’s by removing them immediately from the platform’s recommended algorithm; Add ‘climate misinformation’ to the platforms list of borderline content; Stop monetizing videos that promote harmful misinformation and falsehoods about the causes and effects of the climate crisis; Take steps to correct the record for millions of users who have been exposed to climate misinformation on YouTube.

Please respond by Friday February 7, to describe any efforts you plan to take in order to address these important issues.


On Facebook Greta looks 16, but secretly identifies as two grown men

On Facebook no one knows you are a puppet — until a bug reveals who edits your posts. Such a bug happened on Thursday and by Friday people on 4chan had pointed out that Greta’s facebook posts were being done by her father and some guy in India called Adarsh Prathap.

thanks to Michael Smith News. h/t AndyG, Dennis

Greta’s handler, Adarsh Prathap

GraniteGrok (or someone else?) revealed Adarsh is a UN climate official.

There is nothing either wrong or surprising about this. Only an idiot would believe (then or still) that she is writing her public remarks for delivery to social media or the UN. She’s a Muppet. A child trafficked in socialist environmental doomsaying. A prop. But who the heck is Adarsh Prathap?

According to LinkedIn, he is a Global Regional Coordinator at Youth Engaged in Wetlands. Principal Investigator of Revive Vellayani Project. And a big fan of the UN. Youth Engaged in Wetlands is “an international youth team committed to the conservation, protection, and wise-use of wetlands. YEW provides a global platform for young people to enable and empower them to help protect promote our wetlands.”

He’s a Green […]