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Sounds like the Wall Street Journal needs to read Simmel on form vs.
On Mon, 24 Jul 2006, Richard Rothenberg wrote:
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> In the continuation of her article, Dr. Oreskes cites the story of plate
> tectonics denial. I just wanted to add that perhaps the most
> influential voice in 20th century statistics--that of R.A.
> Fisher--continued to rail against the association of smoking and lung
> cancer until his death. There are relativity-deniers,
> evolution-deniers, HIV-deniers etc. I agree with Dr. Oreskes that they
> are not the problem. The problem rests with the people in power who try
> to turn such arguments into convenient truths.
> Rich Rothenberg
> Valdis Krebs wrote:
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> > In today's LA Times, the author of the original study responds to the
> > WSJ op-ed piece...
> >> I am the author of that study, which appeared two years ago in the
> >> journal Science, and I'm here to tell you that the consensus stands.
> >> The argument put forward in the Wall Street Journal was based on an
> >> Internet posting; it has not appeared in a peer-reviewed journal —
> >> the normal way to challenge an academic finding. (The Wall Street
> >> Journal didn't even get my name right!)
> >> My study demonstrated that there is no significant disagreement
> >> within the scientific community that the Earth is warming and that
> >> human activities are the principal cause.
> >> Papers that continue to rehash arguments that have already been
> >> addressed and questions that have already been answered will, of
> >> course, be rejected by scientific journals, and this explains my
> >> findings. Not a single paper in a large sample of peer-reviewed
> >> scientific journals between 1993 and 2003 refuted the consensus
> >> position, summarized by the National Academy of Sciences, that "most
> >> of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been
> >> due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations."
> > http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-oreskes24jul24,0,823343.story
> > On Jul 14, 2006, at 9:47 PM, Valdis Krebs wrote:
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> >> Opinion piece in today's WSJ claims that SNA shows that the scientists
> >> whom agree on global warming are all a tightly-knit group -- a mutual
> >> admiration society -- that dismiss all contrary findings without
> >> consideration.
> >> Here is an excerpt... Wall Street Journal; July 14, 2006; Page A12
> >> > In addition to debunking the hockey stick, Mr. Wegman goes a step
> >> > further in his report, attempting to answer why Mr. Mann's mistakes
> >> > were not exposed by his fellow climatologists. Instead, it fell to two
> >> > outsiders, Messrs. McIntyre and McKitrick, to uncover the errors.
> >> > Mr. Wegman brings to bear a technique called social-network analysis
> >> > to examine the community of climate researchers. His conclusion is
> >> > that the coterie of most frequently published climatologists is so
> >> > insular and close-knit that no effective independent review of the
> >> > work of Mr. Mann is likely. "As analyzed in our social network," Mr.
> >> > Wegman writes, "there is a tightly knit group of individuals who
> >> > passionately believe in their thesis." He continues: "However, our
> >> > perception is that this group has a self-reinforcing feedback
> >> > mechanism and, moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized
> >> > that they can hardly reassess their public positions without losing
> >> > credibility.
> >> >
> >> > In other words, climate research often more closely resembles a
> >> > mutual-admiration society than a competitive and open-minded search
> >> > for scientific knowledge. And Mr. Wegman's social-network graphs
> >> > suggest that Mr. Mann himself -- and his hockey stick -- is at the
> >> > center of that network.
> >> Since this has become a political issue, is the opposing group also an
> >> echo chamber? Similar to the red-blue political divide we see in the
> >> USA?
> >> Would be interesting to run Mark Newman's community algorithm on all
> >> scientists/papers involved in global warming, eh?
> >> Valdis
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> Richard Rothenberg, MD
> Professor, Department of Medicine
> Division of Infectious Disease
> Emory University School of Medicine
> Editor, Annals of Epidemiology
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