The Necessity of Scientific Hippocracy

This American Thinker article documents quite clearly the nature of the controversy revealed in the Climategate emails and data. CRU at East Anglia University which is the primary contributor to the UN’s climate change report, has actively tried to suppress dissenting opinions of other scientists by abusing the peer review and journal publication process.

Well, I just came across this bit in a textbook I’m currently reading “Anticipating Surprise” by Cynthia Grabo, and I think it encapsulates very well what is going on in the AGW community when dealing with the recent cooling trend:

“For warning, we rarely need to be concerned about the “idea whose time has come.” It is the fate of the idea whose time has not yet come – the hypotheses which is in its infancy and has yet to gain adherents – that should most concern us. There is indifference to new ideas; long-held opinions are extremely slow to change except in the face of some extra-ordinary development or unambiguous evidence. This is true even when the issues are not important. When the matter is exceptionally important and the new judgment is unpopular or contrary to going national policy, indifference to new ideas or hypotheses may change to outright hostility. The warning system must insure that this does not happen and that the hypotheses and ideas are given “equal time” on the basis of their merits, no matter how unpopular or contrary to prevailing opinion they may be.”

While this is relating to a problem in the intelligence community, which often has to make wide ranging predictions in spite of a high degree of uncertainty, the attitude of dismissing any information which does not fit certain theories, and sweeping alternative hypotheses under the rug entirely, has become the norm in the AGW community. The problem is that the scientific method DEMANDS that all alternatives be considered, and all data considered in terms of their applicability to multiple hypotheses. The Climategate scandal at CRU shows how far the AGW “scientists” have departed from this basic principle.

When I state that the CRU “scientists” are anything but, it is not just a play on words. Just as we hold physicians to the Hippocratic oath, and retract their license to practice when they violate it, esp. in cases where they are actively working against it, so too should scientists be held to all tenets of the scientific method, to include providing all the data and techniques they used to arrive at their conclusions, as well as addressing all valid hypotheses regardless of their origin.

When the CRU team took steps to circumvent the impartiality of the peer review process and colluded with the editor of a scientific journal to in their attempt to undermine any impact the DCPS study referenced in the AT article might have had, they were actively working against the scientific method and allowing their unrestricted bias to dictate their actions.

Adherence to the scientific method is the apriori condition to all productive scientific endeavors, and so, regardless of the conclusions reached by CRU’s studies which have been incorporated in the IPCC report, if we have reason to believe that CRU staff were operating far outside the bounds established by the scientific method, then both the data and techniques they used to reach their conclusions must also be questioned.

The fact that other institutions reached the same conclusions as CRU is NOT a reason to dismiss Climategate as irrelevant, but is just the opposite. If they are exhibiting similar behavior, and have produced similar results, then that warrants further detailed investigation, and a fresh approach to the whole question in general.

Expunge the CRU reports from the IPCC, remove the “scientist” zealots from their posts of prominence in the realm of climatology, and conduct open studies which incorporate accurate, unquestioned data and openly available methodologies, to include the source code for all the computer models which have figured so prominently in this debate, sans any “fudge” factors.

Otherwise, you have all the makings of a very bad religion…

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