Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Eric Raymond: Eight Warning Signs of Junk Science

The next time you hear some claim about science, say something like carbon dioxide generated by human activity is causing the climate to change, you might want to refer back to this handy list of ways to spot when you are being presented with junk science put together by Eric Raymond:

  • Science by press release.
  • Rhetoric that mixes science with the tropes of eschatological panic.
  • Rhetoric that mixes science with the tropes of moral panic.
  • Consignment of failed predictions to the memory hole.
  • Over-reliance on computer models replete with bugger factors that aren’t causally justified.
  • If a ‘scientific’ theory seems tailor-made for the needs of politicians or advocacy organizations, it probably has been.
  • Past purveyers of junk science do not change their spots.
  • Refusal to make primary data sets available for inspection.

These are good points to rmember, especially in the wake of the latest data-dump of emails among the pedlars of the great AGW/climate change scare, dubbed Climategate 2.0.

Detailed version of the list at the link. Read the whole thing.

(via Samizdata)

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