Aggravating pseudo-science – debunked
This part of my blog centres around skepticism and loosely follows the skeptical manifesto published by the skeptic society. For the purpose of this site, we will focus on the scientific method (see image).
We will examine some claims worth being skeptical about, see if the sources follow the scientific method, and if not, see where we can do better.
The problem with the scientific method is that it is a very tedious, iterative process, and if you do it properly it constantly questions your own beliefs. Peer review is a fundamental part of this process.
While the scientific method is not a perfect system, so far it’s the best we’ve come up with. It works if the reviewers put enough work into the review (yes, this does mean reading the claims and at least partially reproducing the results). As I said, it’s a tedious process.
To clarify, I am not a climate change skeptic. I think the scientific evidence for human-created climate change is overwhelming. What I want to say is that I am a skeptic of climate change skeptics, but that doesn’t precisely roll off the tongue.
Because there is so much work on human-created climate change, I figured this column should be easy to write.
Turns out, not so much. There are a lot of graphs, videos, and blogs flying around, but when you actually try to reproduce them, the ease suddenly disappears.
I firmly believe that in order to understand data, you have to have access to it. Visual representations of data are already biased to support a specific point of view – which is fine as a long as you have complete trust in the source.
If you don’t, you have to have the opportunity to inspect the data yourself, try a few plots, slice and filter differently, and see what happens.
In this area of the website, we’ll inspect a few suspicious publications, graphs, and concepts, and see if we can create some new insights.
Recently I encountered a very nice looking video illustrating climate change on LinkedIn. It’s purpose is to show the scale of global warming since 1900 based on a data set published by NASA (GISTEMP). The video looked very impressive until I looked closer. This post will dig into the background of the NASA data set, as well as the visualization methods used to produce the video.read more
Articles debunking some of the multitude of claims made about the pyramids. The Scientific Method will be dusted off and applied to all claims with extreme prejudice.
Content Coming Soon!!!