Donnerstag, April 17, 2008

Wiki and the Truth...

This is/was an interesting read on Wikipedia and accuracy.

One of the big problems with the environmental movement is that they are so completely convinced that they are right that they are almost incapable of recognizing legitimate criticism, preferring to stick to their dogma and hiding behind "peer review, peer review" mantra, ignoring the problem of peer review corruption (where peer review becomes meaningless because all in the peer group have a vested interest in maintaining a fiction: don't pretend it doesn't happen).

Peer review corruption is a problem, not merely in this specific case, but for science in general (see this), and while there isn't that much that can be done by those outside of the peer group - which in and of itself is also a problem when, for instance, a peer group fails to spot abuse of statistical methods because there is no professional statistician available within the peer group - there is a case for making the peer review process more transparent and positive.

But the real problem that can be seen in the first link here, to the article on how a Wikipedia author actively refuses to correct something wrong because it would be politically damaging.

To quote a Wikipedia admin involved:

Most of the controversy is contrived to further a political, ideological agenda; I don't see any reason we should help them by perpetuating it.

I dare say that a significant amount of work on anthropogenic global warming fits exactly this description as well: we have seen that Mann et al created data to fit their conclusions by using algorithms that always reported similar results, even fed with random numbers and who, to date, have refused to publish their methodologies; we've seen that there is a systemic upwards bias of reporting stations due to urbanization of the recording stations over time; there is a continuing and ongoing problem with extreme statistical malfeasance when using proxies and creating unitary temperature time series over time; further, that critical voices within the IPCC have been effectively silenced and ignored from day one.

If environmentalists want to receive massive funding for their pet projects based on anthropogenic global warming theories, then they must provide analysis that is at least as believable as the pre-war intelligence research on Iraqi attempts to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

Up to now they have failed to do so.

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