November 30, 2009

(Yes, I know I'm obsessing over Climategate - and I should get a life)

This piece by Clive Crook on Warmergate is pretty good, but there's something here that really bothers me...

More on Climategate - Clive Crook:

...While I'm listing surprises, let me note how disappointed I was by The Economist's coverage of all this. "Leaked emails do not show climate scientists at their best," it observes. No indeed. I should say I worked at the magazine for years, admire it as much as ever, and rely on the science coverage especially. But I was baffled by its reaction to the scandal. "Little wonder that the scientists are looking tribal and jumpy, and that sceptics have leapt so eagerly on such tiny scraps as proof of a conspiracy," its report concludes. Tiny scraps?  I detest anti-scientific thinking as much as The Economist does. I admire expertise, and scientific expertise especially; like any intelligent citizen I am willing to defer to it. But that puts a great obligation on science. The people whose instinct is to respect and admire science should be the ones most disturbed by these revelations. The scientists have let them down, and made the anti-science crowd look wise. That is outrageous. ...

NO, this is not the "anti-science crowd" vs the "science-crowd. It's the honest-science crowd vs the dishonest-science crowd. It's been stupid all along to say that the skeptics are "anti-science," since many of them are cracker-jack scientists, or engineers, or amateurs with a deep appreciation of what natural science is and should be. Steve McIntyre has show those big-shot "scientists" Mann and Briffa and Caspar Amman to be dead wrong, and he did it without complete datasets, and without the big grants that Jones & Co had. He's a scientist.

It's a hundred times more wrong and STUPID to say the critics are "anti-science" now.

Being a scientist is not a matter of having a white lab coat and a union card. A scientist is a seeker of Truth. Everything else is trivial compared to that. Phil Jones and his gang ARE NOT SCIENTISTS. Not even a little bit. (You might perhaps call them scientific technicians.)

Posted by John Weidner at November 30, 2009 5:51 PM
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