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Ed Beg(ley)s the Question, circular reasoning, logical falisies and appeals to authority abound in the Blinded by Green Cult

Posted by pwl on November 26, 2009

Well obviously it “Beg(ley)s the Question” (sorry I couldn’t resist) about why Ed Begley hasn’t read or seen the part of Climategate that shows that the so called “peer review” was hijacked and stacked and thus can’t be trusted! Oops! Obviously Ed’s not up on the latest developments or is choosing to ignore the evidence of the Very Serious Climategate Peer Review Process Corruption that has taken place!

Begging the question (or petitio principii, “assuming the initial point”) is a logical fallacy in which the proposition to be proved is assumed implicitly or explicitly in the premise. Begging the question is related to circular argument, circulus in probando (Latin for “circle in proving”) or circular reasoning but they are considered absolutely different by Aristotle.[1] The first known definition in the West is by the Greek philosopher Aristotle around 350 BC, in his book Prior Analytics, where he classified it as a material fallacy.

Worse than “Begging the Question” Begley uses the “Appeal to Authority” argument for constructing his belief based view of reality. In the video Ed Begley goes on and on literally yelling to control the interviewer with intimidation spouting “peer review” repeatedly in so many ways thus making an appeal to authorities. Unfortunately it fails for him due to the fraudulent representations of the Climategate alleged scientists. Regardless appeals to authority are not substantive in science, what is substantive in science is the cold hard verifiable evidence that either proves or refutes a hypothesis!

For intelligent people who require actual factual evidence of a claim in question the appeal to authority holds no value. What hold value to evidence based people is the actual factual verifiable and repeatable evidence! Prove your hypothesis conclusively with review by anyone with the skills to peer review it! Basing one’s important decisions on appeals to authority in science is just asking for serious trouble and invites cult style belief systems of thought. Verifiable Open Evidence is the knife that separates the facts from the fiction in science.

Argument from authority or appeal to authority is a logical fallacy, where it is argued that a statement is correct because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative. The most general structure of this argument is:

Source A says that p.
Source A is authoritative.
Therefore, p is true.

This is a fallacy because the truth or falsity of the claim is not necessarily related to the personal qualities of the claimant, and because the premises can be true, and the conclusion false (an authoritative claim can turn out to be false). It is also known as argumentum ad verecundiam (Latin: argument to respect) or ipse dixit (Latin: he himself said it). [1]

The Journals must be quivering under the Climategate revelations of peer review corruption. I wonder how many will crumble as a result? Or will they get their footing back and survive? I wonder how peer review journals will adapt their policies to correct for this pernicious corruption of the scientific process?

By Ed’s reasoning, excluding everyone who is “not a degreed climate scientist” that rather puts Dr. James Hansen out of the picture, and many others, including Al Gore.” – Anthony Watts

So yes, according to Ed Begley no one without a PhD in “climate science” can be trusted. Not even Al Gore!. Not even Ed Begley himself who is giving advice! Oh wait, if Ed Begley can’t be trusted then neither can his advice about people having a climate science PhD after their name! Oh the hypocrisy abounds as does the lack of understanding of the scientific process!

Qualifications matter in science ONLY in order to comprehend what is going on! In fact the history of science is littered with people from different backgrounds and diverse fields contributing major advances to a science that they were not “qualified” for. If someone – regardless of how they obtained their education – comprehends the science in question and develops falsifications or advancements or further lines of evidence that is perfectly acceptable since in science it’s the science that matters not the scientist!!! Mother Nature is the final judge not some peer reviewed journal or some consensus or a ratification or a vote! Nature rules objective reality, not us! When a person gets that it’s humbling. Truly humbling.

That’s the trouble with those who’ve swallowed the “Green Pill” is the only way cult, they see everything through a “green filter” and wish to impose it upon the rest of us thinking that humans are “destroying the commons” when there is only hypotheses of that with scant evidence in objective reality. It requires REAL PROOF AND OPENLY VERIFIABLE EVIDENCE of any destruction of the commons before the Public Will can have an actual legitimate concern to act and that’s still long before working out what the solutions are.

Climategate really shows that the “peer review” is just another “voting” or “consensus” or “ratification” or “political” based process and not as independent as is presented in the “mythology” or “propaganda” image of science that was clearly abused by the Climategate alleged scientists.

Climategate illustrates that with humans involved in the process of science all manner of human games including massive deceptions can, will and did happen! The Scientific Method is supposed to correct for this and now we see that it not always does or it can take a very long time to correct and in the meantime even “peer reviewed” science can be nothing more than delusional beliefs that have nothing to do with objective reality. Kinda scary. That is why it’s so important to have VERIFICATION of Scientific Results!!!

Fortunately someone, an alleged hacker or inside whistle-blower close to the cabal in someway, had the will to do a public service and correct the long term Climategate deceptions and subversion of the scientific method.

It’s good to know that eventually the book cookers are discovered. However it makes one wonder how many other scams are being passed off as science in the climate field as well as in other fields of science?

Climategate really cuts at the heart of science deeply and reveals a serious flaw in the current secretive peer review process.

It’s time for Open Public Science. All science that is funded with ANY private money or that wishes to appear in Journals needs to be FULLY open to scrutiny by any and all who choose to audit or peer review any science papers that make any scientific claims what so ever.

Science can only progress if there is a free exchange of scientific data. The scientific model works like this:

1. A scientist makes claims, and reveals the data and methods he used to come to his conclusions.

2. Other scientists who don’t agree attack the claim by (inter alia) seeing if they can replicate the result, using the first scientist’s data and methods.

3. If the claims cannot be replicated, the claim is adjudged to be false.

Obviously, if the data or the methods are kept secret, the claims cannot be verified. Attacking other scientist’s claims is what what scientists do. This adversarial system is the heart of science.

[Any scientist], here’s a novel idea. Put enough information out when you publish the work so that your work can be replicated. Put on the web whatever is necessary in the way of code, data, and methods to allow your work to be checked by someone else. If you do that, not only will you not be bothered, but you will be following the scientific method.

None of us … [auditing or peer reviewing] are doing this to harass anyone … .

We’re doing this [auditing and peer review] because we cannot replicate your work, and thus your work is purely anecdotal rather than scientific.

… science requires – a full accounting of the data, the methods, and in some [preferably all] cases the computer code used to do the research. Anything more is harassment … but anything less is scientific obstruction.
Willis Eschenbach on Freedom of Information in Public Science. (Edits by PWL are only to generalize the comments to the wider principle of Open Source Public Science).

Science is a social enterprise, and scientific work tends to be accepted by the community when it has been confirmed. Crucially, experimental and theoretical results must be reproduced by others within the science community. Researchers have given their lives for this vision; Georg Wilhelm Richmann was killed by ball lightning (1753) when attempting to replicate the 1752 kite-flying experiment of Benjamin Franklin.[45]

To protect against bad science and fraudulent data, government research granting agencies like NSF and science journals like Nature and Science have a policy that researchers must archive their data and methods so other researchers can access it, test the data and methods and build on the research that has gone before. Scientific data archiving can be done at a number of national archives in the U.S. or in the World Data Center.Scientific Method Confirmation, wikipedia

Clearly this process to prevent bad science and fraud was subverted in the case of Climategate with alleged scientists Jones and Mann et. al.. Furthermore clearly Jones and Mann et. al. attempted to control who is in the “scientific community” by deciding who should get or not get data and with privacy promises to those that they gave it to. Unfortunately ANYONE with sufficient knowledge of the science in question is a valid member of the scientific community and it’s most certainly not up to Jones and Mann et. al. to decide who will peer review their works! This is an essential part of transparent science and the independent nature of scientists! Not only was the integrity of climate science subverted the scientific freedom of anyone who wanted to review the works of Jones and Mann et. al. was subverted. Jones and Mann et. al.don’t have the right to do that, not if they claim to be scientists!

What Ed Begley doesn’t seem to realize is that the so called “climate science” is not always a “hard science” but it’s more often a “soft science” with way too much soothsaying and reading of tree ring entrails.

Yes science is about predictions as well as about the past. Science is the best system we’ve developed for predicting how things will behave or turn out. However, just because we’ve had tremendous successes in some fields doesn’t mean that all fields of science have the same level of success. Clearly climate science can’t make predictions as well as the successes of Newton and Einstein. Reading the entrails of tree rings and soothsaying the future with climate models based upon them is highly dubious at best and delusional at worst. Clearly this so called climate science needs a serious dose of hard science and a jettisoning of bad science practices.

The confidence that the Green Environmentalist crowd puts into the unproven claims of Humann Caused Global Warming Climate Change reveals deep set beliefs about the world that are proving to be false beliefs with Climategate.

If Ed Begley is a man who actually considers science rather than just his Green Beliefs then he must adapt to the new reality where his beliefs are proven wrong.

What you see in the video with Ed Begley hijacking the interview is a man who’s highly valued belief system is crumbling before him and he knows it. He’s literally drowning in his falsified belief system and rails and flails at any suggestion that it’s crumbling. This is a prime example of why not to rely upon belief, when the beliefs are proven false the mind still wants to keep the beliefs alive. This is a known phenomenon. The mind would rather keep the belief system alive even to the point of death.

In Ed Begley’s case we’ll see how he resolves the betrayal that he must be feeling from the Climategate Alleged Scientists Jones, Mann, et. al..

Open Science moves on. Will Ed Begley? Clearly as a first start he needs to learn to calmly engage with an interviewer, and secondly he needs to read up on Climategate and review all of his beliefs to find out which ones are obsolete and not based upon objective reality.

It’s perhaps the single most important fact to emerge from the Climategate scandal. Peer-review is dead. Meaningless. Utterly void of credibility. More irredeemably defunct than a Norwegian Blue.

Why? Let’s just remind ourselves what some of those hacked CRU emails said:

“This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?”

“I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”“It results from this journal having a number of editors. The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past. I’ve had words with Hans von Storch about this, but got nowhere. Another thing to discuss in Nice !”

What the CRU’s hacked emails convincingly demonstrate is that climate scientists in the AGW camp have corrupted the peer-review process. In true Gramscian style they marched on the institutions – capturing the magazines (Science, Scientific American, Nature, etc), the seats of learning (Climate Research Institute; Hadley Centre), the NGO’s (Greenpeace, WWF, etc), the political bases (especially the EU), the newspapers (pretty much the whole of the MSM I’m ashamed, as a print journalist, to say) – and made sure that the only point of view deemed academically and intellectually acceptable was their one.

Neutral observers in this war sometimes ask how it can be that the vast majority of the world’s scientists seem to be in favour of AGW theory. “Peer-review” is why. Only a handful of scientists – 53 to be precise, not the much-touted 2,500 – were actually responsible for the doom-laden global-warming sections of the IPCC’s reports. They were all part of this cosy, self-selecting, peer-review cabal – and many of them, of course, are implicated in the Climategate emails.

Now peer-review is dead, so should be the IPCC, and Al Gore’s future as a carbon-trading billionaire. Will it happen? I shouldn’t hold your breath.
James Delingpole, Climategate: what Gore’s useful idiot Ed Begley Jr doesn’t get about the ‘peer review’ process

Ed Begley’s main manntra – peer review – has no more ground under it due to the corruption of these Climategate alleged scientists. I wonder how far this will spread? Who else will be implicated?

Judy Curry who obtained a Ph.D. in 1982 from The University of Chicago’s Geophysical Sciences department and who thus doesn’t qualify for Ed Begley’s criteria says the following relevant points on this topic.

“… there are two broader issues raised by these emails that are impeding the public credibility of climate research: lack of transparency in climate data, and “tribalism” in some segments of the climate research community that is impeding peer review and the assessment process.

1. Transparency. Climate data needs to be publicly available and well documented. This includes metadata that explains how the data were treated and manipulated, what assumptions were made in assembling the data sets, and what data was omitted and why. This would seem to be an obvious and simple requirement, but the need for such transparency has only been voiced recently as the policy relevance of climate data has increased.

The HADCRU surface climate dataset and the paleoclimate dataset that has gone into the various “hockeystick” analyses stand out as lacking such transparency.

Much of the paleoclimate data and metadata has become available only because of continued public pressure from Steve McIntyre. Datasets that were processed and developed decades ago and that are now regarded as essential elements of the climate data record often contain elements whose raw data or metadata were not preserved (this appears to be the case with HADCRUT). …

In summary, given the growing policy relevance of climate data, increasingly higher standards must be applied to the transparency and availability of climate data and metadata. These standards should be clarified, applied and enforced by the relevant national funding agencies and professional societies that publish scientific journals.

2. Climate tribalism. Tribalism is defined here as a strong identity that separates one’s group from members of another group, characterized by strong in-group loyalty and regarding other groups differing from the tribe’s defining characteristics as inferior. In the context of scientific research, tribes differ from groups of colleagues that collaborate and otherwise associate with each other professionally.

After becoming more knowledgeable about the politics of climate change (both the external politics and the internal politics within the climate field), I became concerned about some of the tribes pointing their guns inward at other climate researchers who question their research or don’t pass various loyalty tests. … it is difficult to understand the continued circling of the wagons by some climate researchers with guns pointed at skeptical researchers by apparently trying to withhold data and other information of relevance to published research, thwart the peer review process, and keep papers out of assessment reports. Scientists are of course human, and short-term emotional responses to attacks and adversity are to be expected, but I am particularly concerned by this apparent systematic and continuing behavior from scientists that hold editorial positions, serve on important boards and committees and participate in the major assessment reports. It is these issues revealed in the HADCRU emails that concern me the most, and it seems difficult to spin many of the emails related to FOIA, peer review, and the assessment process. I sincerely hope that these emails do not in actuality reflect what they appear to … .

In summary, the problem seems to be that the circling of the wagons strategy developed by small groups of climate researchers … Particularly on a topic of such great public relevance, scientists need to consider carefully skeptical arguments and either rebut them or learn from them. Trying to suppress them or discredit the skeptical researcher or blogger is not an ethical strategy and one that will backfire in the long run. I have some sympathy for Phil Jones’ concern of not wanting to lose control of his personal research agenda by having to take the time to respond to all the queries and requests regarding his dataset, but the receipt of large amounts of public funding pretty much obligates CRU to respond to these requests. The number of such requests would be drastically diminished if all relevant and available data and metadata were made publicly accessible, and if requests from Steve McIntyre were honored (I assume that many spurious requests have been made to support Steve McIntyre’s request, and these would all disappear).

the broader issue is the need to increase the public credibility of climate science. This requires publicly available data and metadata, a rigorous peer review process, and responding to arguments raised by skeptics. The integrity of individual scientists that are in positions of responsibility (e.g. administrators at major research institutions, editorial boards, major committees, and assessments) is particularly important for the public credibility of climate science. The need for public credibility and transparency has dramatically increased in recent years as the policy relevance of climate research has increased. The climate research enterprise has not yet adapted to this need, and our institutions need to strategize to respond to this need. – On the credibility of climate research by Judy Curry

Judy Curry almost get’s it right. What she doesn’t realize is that she mistakes the interest of members of the human species in climate science isn’t about “politics” or “political attacks against climate scientists” it’s about finding out and verifying the claims made by climate scientists (and other scientists) to inform ourselves and to inform our politics based upon VERIFIABLE FACTS rather than just swallowing the Green PILL and blindly accepting the Green Agenda on it’s political claims.

Climate scientists do not have the exclusive purview on research into the Earth’s climate, that is a right of every living human being if they should choose to pursue climate research.

And if our interest is political then so is Judy Curry’s and the scientists working on climate science!

My interest is in in knowing with a high degree of certainty what the facts in the objective reality of Nature are. I’m not interested in the unsubstantiated allegations. I want REAL verifiable proof! I require factual repeatable EVIDENCE! Without that I can’t choose which political point of view to take! It’s known as having one’s politics informed by the actual facts and not by mere proven false beliefs peddled by the likes of Al Gore. Verifiable facts please! Now!

According to the norms of science as I have always known them, the determination of correctness and significance of results in science cannot be done under the authority of a committee or a single person or organization. It can be arrived at only by open discussion, based on publicly available data that anyone can check. Experiments must be reproducible, based on the data of the experimenters. These norms require that scientists answer questions about their works; and that data (in the case of experimental sciences) or proofs (in the case of mathematics) be supplied on demand, if for some reason they were not part of the published paper announcing scientific results.

Ultimately, to uphold the traditional standards of science, scientists cannot rely on authority, they cannot rely on panels, they cannot rely on big-time certifications such as those coming from Nobel Prizes or the National Academy of Sciences. They cannot count on the press and they cannot count on Congressional committees to bring the problems of the scientific community to their own attention, or to police the scientific community. They must rely on individual responsibility, and they must create an atmosphere and conditions under which scientists, both young and established, can exercise this responsibility without fear — fear of retaliation, fear for their careers, fear for their funding, fear for their publications, fear of the tensions which come from a challenge, fear of being uncollegial, whatever. Will they?
” – Serge Lang, Mathematics Department, Yale University on QUESTIONS OF SCIENTIFIC RESPONSIBILITY

Clearly scientists have a ways to go in improving their culture.

2 Responses to “Ed Beg(ley)s the Question, circular reasoning, logical falisies and appeals to authority abound in the Blinded by Green Cult”

  1. Michael Buchanan said

    Thank you for this summary. Have you considered Serge Lang’s book, Challenges? We can teach ethics to students, but as the adage goes, power corrupts, and we find terrible examples in authorities.

  2. pwl said

    Challenges by Serge_Lang: “For three decades I have been Interested in the area where the academic world meets the world of journalism and the world of politics …”

    “This collection, based on several of Lang’s “Files,” deals with the area where science and academia meet the worlds of journalism and politics: social organization, government, and the roles that education and journalism play in shaping opinions leading to policy decisions. In discussing specific cases in which he became involved, Lang addresses general questions of standards: standards of journalism, standards of discourse, and standards of science. Recurring questions concern: – How people process information and how misinformation is spread and accepted – Inhibition of critical thinking and the role of education: teaching students to think clearly and independently — or conditioning them to accept dominant modes of perception uncritically – How to make corrections, and how attempts at corrections are sometimes obstructed – The extent to which we submit to the authority of those higher up, and whether one can keep the higher ups accountable, possibly in the face of evasions, stonewalling, and intimidation – The competence of so-called experts – Our responsibility for what we say or write – The use of editorial and academic power to suppress or marginalize ideas, evidence, or data that do not fit the tenets of certain establishments By dealing with case studies and providing extensive documentation, Lang challenges some individuals and establishments, at the same time that he challenges us to reconsider the ways they exercise their …”
    Challenges by Serge Lang

    Hi Michael,

    Your welcome, I hope it was informative. How can it be improved? Expanded?

    Thanks for the reference. Serge Lang certainly seems like someone who’s explored this issue in depth. He looks to have been a complex man. I’ll look for his book.

    Just like the constant vigil of protection of our freedom from those in the various Cults of Government we must keep an eye on those in the various Cults of Science, especially those sciences which are important to public policy or wealth.

    The beauty of science and science education is that anyone with the skills can join in and make a valuable contribution in many different ways.

    Interesting phrase he used: “political opinions masquerading as science”. Sounds like the current situation.

    In the village in the village in the village
    life repeats itself, life repeats itself.
    There is sunlight; there is darkness. The dark
    repeats itself, the light repeats itself;
    planting repeats itself, harvest repeats
    itself. Yet life is never dull. It pats
    the drum-hide of the night and is satisfied.
    It listens for footfalls when the dogs bark
    in the village in the village in the village

    In the village in the village in the village
    life repeats itself, life undoes itself
    and then does itself up in the same guise.
    We are careful not to fail to repeat
    the same salutations, the same farewells
    our parents and our parents’ parents use.
    They are wise; we are small and the day long.
    Death comes but once but when it comes to life
    no one would be unwilling to repeat
    in the village in the village in the village

    Andrew Oerke

    As long as we learn from our mistakes that is.

    All the best,


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