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PNAS: Witchdoctors of science — Anderegg’s blacklist of scientists


Proceedings of the National Academy of Science: a step back to the Stone Age

A shameful day in the history of science. The once esteemed National Academy of Science is reduced to pagan witchcraft: point the bone at the blacklist, count the tea-leaf-citations, put on your funny hat and make a prophesy about the weather.

Some critics are saying the survey is flawed because it uses artificial groupings. Artificial be damned — the survey is flawed because it’s a waste-of-time work of anti-science for even existing. Science is not a democracy. Natural laws don’t form because anyone says so, and the only way to find out the answer is to … look at the evidence. Doh.

This adulation of individuals and tests of character, “success”, or popularity is the anti-thesis of what the great brains-trust of science ought to do. In science all minds test their theories against the universe, and only the real world matters. The petty world of human reputations is steeped in bias and conflicts of interest with personality defects and political power grabs, not to mention the corrupting influence of money. Science achieved vast success for civilization by freeing us from exactly this cess-pool of complexity, to rise above the posturing and consider only impartial observations.

Which Doctor or Witchdoctors?

Since the dawn of time tribal witchdoctors have been forecasting storms and asking us to pay tribute to their idols. The NAS has descended into abject farce. Argument by authority is the disguise of the witchdoctor — Trust me, I am the chosen one.

The list of approved “climate scientists” might as well be a list of anointed preachers of the Cult of Climate Science. The esteemed?

Post Note: This is rampant argument from authority, a known fallacy of reasoning for over 2,000 years. It is utterly shameful that a supposedly scientific institute should support this kind of stone-age thinking.

What are they measuring? Papers or paper money?

Roger Pielke Jnr wondered what the new paper measured, but it seems pretty clear from here: The survey is a loose proxy for government grants. Just add up the salaries of all the believers vs the unconvinced. The US government bestowed $79 billion (1990 – 2009) on scientists who looked for a crisis and what a shock, what a non-event of no proportions, the paid team found a crisis, blow me away, but when the peasants ask for evidence, the witchdoctors resort to the ancient art of bluster and scoff at those who ask the questions.

The science-communication pollution from the PNAS contributes to global confusion, it feeds the dark soul of undirected religious brains who think the Gods of Science are real and have something to say. These “Gods” are fake, and we bow not before them. The lowliest high school science student who searches for truth among the measurements is far more worthy than the Great Pretenders who think their own opinions count for more than radiosonde results.

Shame on you Schneider, traitor to science. Shame on the NAS editors who allowed this pathetic excuse for research into their publications. And shame on any member of the NAS who doesn’t shout in protest at this denigration of the good name that took decades to build.

R.I. P. The Scientific Method. Hello totalitarian government, where money buys you authority, and authority passes for reason.

Thanks to Colin and Speedy for notification and inspiration.

UPDATE: Baa Humbug points out that the article (Full PDF) is tagged with “Climate Denier”. In doing so, the NAS officially steps across that ugly line into outright name-calling. Wherefore art thou, subspecies homo-sapiens-denier?


  1. Anderegg, William R. L., James W. Prall,Jacob Haroldand Stephen H. Schneider[2010]. Expert credibility in climate change, PNAS, 10.1073 [PDF]
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