“Textbook cases of gross lapses in professional ethics and scientific malfeasance”

H. Sterling Burnett is a member of the National Association of Scholars and he’s describing the global warming movers and shakers:

ClimategateClimategate, both 1 and 2, are textbook cases of gross lapses in professional ethics and scientific malfeasance.  To understand why, one must first understand what science is and how it is supposed to operate. Science is the noble pursuit of knowledge through observation, testing and experimentation.  Scientists attempt to explain, describe and/or predict the implications of phenomena through the use of the scientific method.  

The scientific method consists in gaining knowledge or explanatory power through a process.  Progress is made in science by proposing a hypothesis, and developing a theory to explain or understand certain phenomena, and then testing the hypothesis against reality.  A particular hypothesis is considered superior to others when, through testing, it is shown to have more explanatory power than competing theories or hypotheses and when other scientists running the same testing regime can reproduce the results of the original test.  Every theory or hypothesis must be disconfirmable in principle, which means that, if the theory predicts that “A” will occur under certain conditions, but instead, “B” and sometimes “C” result, then the theory has problems.  The more a hypothesis’s predictions prove inconsistent with or are diametrically opposed to the results that occur during testing, the less likely the hypothesis is to be correct.

Which brings us to Climategate.  Climategate parts one and two are a series of leaked e-mails from arguably the most prominent researchers promoting the idea that humans are causing catastrophic global warming. The e-mails show the scientists involved to be violating their professional ethics with the result that climate science in particular and science as an institution more generally is brought into question. 

The pursuit of knowledge through science can’t proceed if scientists refuse to share data and methods.  In defense of their refusal to share data, suppress its release or even destroy it, climate scientists have claimed that because those asking for the data are skeptics, they will only use the data to try and undermine their results.  So what?  Either the data and methods stand up to scrutiny and the results are robust or they are not. Either way, the skeptics have done the world a service. 

The National Association of Scholars now casting doubt on the Church of Chicken Little.

More of this please.

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