NASA Faked Moon Landing—Academic Psychologists Swoon, Tie It To Climate Change

One day a terrific psychological study is going to be written on the madness and mass lunacy which arose after climate change swam into the public’s ken. I don’t mean the actions and thoughts of the man-in-the-street, which were and are no different in this area than they were and are in any political matterhe . No: the real curiosity is what happened to academia, inside departments which haven’t anything to do with climatology.

There, surrounded by people eager to agree with each other and fueled by infinite estimates of their own intelligence, great hoards of degreed non-experts, people who couldn’t derive the Omega equation if you threatened to remove their tenure and who think Vorticity is a town in Spain, lectured all of mankind on why The End Was Near, Unless…

Unless they, the non-experts, were hearkened to, esteemed, feted, moneyed, and just plain listened to, dammit.

The cornerstone of this future pathological report may well be the peer-reviewed Psychological Science paper “NASA faked the moon landing—Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science” by Stephan Lewandowsky, Klaus Oberauer, and Gilles Gignac, perhaps the completest, most representative work of its odd era.

Everything that could have been done wrong, was done wrong. Every bias that could have been manifested, was manifested. Every fallacy pertinent to the matter at hand was made. The conclusions, regurgitated from unnecessarily complicated statistical procedures, did not follow from the evidence gathered, which itself was suspect. In its way, then, the paper is a jewel, a gift to the future, a fundamental text to how easy it is to fool oneself.

Consider that its errors are not far to seek1. Take the opening sentence: “Although nearly all domain experts agree that human CO2 emissions are altering the world’s climate, segments of the public remain unconvinced by the scientific evidence.” Isn’t that gorgeous? I count at least seven mistakes, and we are only at the very beginning!

  • Mistake 1: Lewandowsky is not a domain expert, and by his argument is not qualified to speak on matters climatic, yet speak he does.
  • Mistake 2: His opinion about how to consider the science of climate change is therefore no more valuable than any other non-domain expert’s (about the physics), but he considers by this act of publishing that it is.
  • Mistake 3: He conflates voting with truth. His fallacy is to suppose that because the majority of domain experts say X, X is therefore true.
  • Mistake 4: He conflates numbers with weight of evidence. His fallacy is to suppose the minority of domain experts who do not agree with the majority are not to be listened to because they are only a minority.
  • Mistake 5: He confuses physics with economics, a vulgar but common error. It may be true that, say, temperatures will rise by 0.5o C in the next five decades, but it does not follow that any theory of what will happen because of this temperature rise is true, nor is it true that anybody’s suggestion to combat the adverse consequences of what will happen is therefore worthy of consideration.
  • Mistake 6: Since Lewandowsky committed this howler, and is obviously unaware of it, he cannot see it in the people he interviews, who often make a similar error. That is, when a civilian is asked, “Do you believe in climate change?” he often answers “No,” but the mistake is to assume he is answering the question as stated, when in reality he has answered the modified question, “Do you believe in climate change and should the government regulate, rule, tax, control, mandate, penalize, etc., etc. to combat this change?” Such an elementary mistake by a psychologist shows us just how far the madness has progressed.
  • Mistake 7: Lewandowsky, because he is not a domain expert, misunderstood the basic physics. There are no domain experts who do not agree that mankind changes the climate. The only matters in question are: how much? where? when? with what certainty can we know? Notice the absence of “What can be done?” because this requires expertise in human behavior, and that expertise is what is suspiciously missing in this paper.

My dears, I emphasize that this was merely the opening sentence, and that much worse was to come. But before that, there was one more error, more grievous than any other, embedded in his starting sentence. This is Lewandowsky’s befuddlement that any non-domain expert could deign to question “the scientific evidence” (when much of what is “science” is instead politics). He assumes that any who do so, even in the admitted presence of disagreement over what “the” science is, suffers from a psychological flaw. Science has spoken, thinks he, and therefore nothing remains to be said. An actual instance of doublethink, and really quite marvelous when you consider the economy of words used to express it.

Now, the rest of Lewdandowsky’s work is more mundane. He commits the freshman mistake of only seeking evidence for his beliefs, and for none that would contradict him (and of which there is plenty); he says things like “Another common attribute of the contemporary rejection of science is its reliance on the internet” and then uses the internet himself in his “science”; he questions the influence of Steven McIntyre of Climateaudit forgetting that McIntyre is a domain expert and he, Lewandowsky is not.

He admits confirmation bias by calling dividing his sample into “pro-science” and “skeptic”, when the point in question is what the science says. He builds “latent variable” models to “prove” what he already believed, and biased himself to confirm; latent variable analysis being a lovely technique to give desirable results. He amusingly assures his audience of his “theoretical results”: not theories of climate, but psychological (academics do love a theory). He can’t help himself but use the ugly term denial, an appalling word one would have thought a psychologist would have understood was inappropriate.

As I said, a book could be written, and probably will be written on everything that has gone wrong with this paper.


Thanks to K.A. Rodgers who alerted me to the precious topic. Thanks too to John Moore for keeping me sharp.

1We haven’t time here to list and review each error: we leave that to genuine psychologists.

Update At Lewandowsky’s site, he puts up this puzzler: “Quick, consider the following: all polar bears are animals. Some animals are white. Therefore, some polar bears are white. Is this conclusion logically implied or not?” After you answer, “Yes”, he writes, “There is a 75% chance you might endorse this conclusion despite it being logically false.”

This is typical of the “gotcha” questions academics tease civilians with to prove that they, the academics, are smarter than the rest of us and therefore needed. Lewandowsky’s goes straight downhill after “Quick.” Of course people are going to say yes because every damn polar bear is white. They are not answering the question, which was absurdly required to be answered quickly, but instead recalling what they know to be true: polar bears are white.

To get at the true psychology, Lewandowsky should have instead asked, “Take your time and consider the following: all polar bears are animals. Some animals are white. Therefore, some polar bears are white. Is this conclusion logically implied or not? I am not asking whether polar bears are white—we know they are—but whether this logical argument is valid.” Not everybody will get this right, but we’ll at least be able to better estimate the actual percentage of folks who can’t.

As Joseph Epstein observed about speedy answers required by academics:

Only years later did I realize that quickness of response–on which 95 percent of education is based–is beside the point, and is required only of politicians, emergency-room physicians, lawyers in courtrooms, and salesmen. Serious intellectual effort requires slow, usually painstaking thought, often with wrong roads taken along the way to the right destination, if one is lucky enough to arrive there. One of the hallmarks of the modern educational system, which is essentially an examination system, is that so much of it is based on quick response solely. Give 6 reasons for the decline of Athens, 8 for the emergence of the Renaissance, 12 for the importance of the French Revolution. You have 20 minutes in which to do so.


  1. Scott B

    And if you take yor time and think about it, ER docs, court-room lawyers (although more on TV than perhaps in real life) and salesmen are trained to develop a catalog or database that allows mapping of inputs to rapid responses. Regardless of how quick witted the ER doc is, unless they have a interal Google search of “presenting symtom 1 = response 1”, their ability to see through the “quick riddles” is not relevant.

  2. William Sears

    This is an interesting development that I have been following at WUWT and Climate Audit. The cause embarrasses itself with every new missive but sadly this may not matter as it is only trying to maintain the cult.

    I have also read the Joseph Epstein article which is interesting and the quote that you give is worthy of consideration. It summarizes an observation that I have made over the years. This is that many intelligent students can solve most problems (in Physics) if they can be done in under half an hour but can never solve any that take longer than that. The stamina or perseverance is not there. They are therefore not suited for research.

    I also have a different take on the term liberal arts. Why do so many people discuss (defend) it without defining the term or their use of the term? The original (ancient) meaning of a liberal arts education ( is much closer to the traditional three Rs than to anything now taught at university. The Trivium is mostly reading and writing and the quadrivium adds arithmetic. Call them the seven Rs. The link that I quote attempts to give a modern definition but it is vague. This is Wikipedia I know and I leave it to others to find a more extensive article. Another point is that the liberal arts were meant as an elementary education followed by a more specialized education for the few who needed it. This development is mentioned in the link. Thus I claim that the liberal arts are completely appropriate in elementary school, to a lesser extend in high school, but make no sense at university.

  3. Bill S

    I do not understand in any fashion as to how the first sentence claims that the author of it is a “domain expert”. Is there some common usage of the term in the blogosphere that I am unaware of?

  4. Ray

    Polar bears are white at the morth pole, but I heard they are black at the south pole so the penguins will mistake them for large penguins and let them approach.

  5. DAV

    Faked DATA !?? The DATA are not FAKED. The answers to the questionnaires weren’t FAKED either. They were REAL answers which were simply untrue. The DATA proves my thesis. Those loony skeptics at CA and WUWT don’t understand science.

  6. John Ray

    you might have mentioned Lewandowsky’s strange ideas about sampling

  7. DAV


    I guess that would make them anti-polar bears. What happens when a polar bear meets an anti-polar bear. Total annihilation?

    Penguins at the North Pole are white which makes them invisible. They tend to look like polar bears when invisibility fails.

  8. Joey H

    I do not understand in any fashion as to how the first sentence claims that the author of it is a “domain expert”. Is there some common usage of the term in the blogosphere that I am unaware of?

    He doesn’t make that claim, but why is that relevant to the analysis of the sentence? It is X is not a domain expert in Y, so X should not make statements that a domain expert is qualified to make.

    It is not X claims to be a domain expert in Y.

  9. rembie

    I assume people have been on the moon, simply because I am told so. I could not cite any scientific evidence in favor of it. It is just my belief on the basis of the authority of pictures, stories and general acceptance in society. Isn’t it much more likely that the majority of the public who are convinced of climate change are so for the same reason I believe in the moon-landings? And this is something that we should wish for in the name of science?

  10. GregS

    Faked DATA !?? The DATA are not FAKED. The answers to the questionnaires weren’t FAKED either – DAV

    Not sure what you are thinking, DAV. No one that I know of has accused Lewandowsky of faking data. What he is being accused of (among other things) is willful negligence for not putting in place the proper controls to keep non-skeptics from falsely presented themselves as skeptics.

    It would be like doing a survey on The Weekly Standard Website to establish whether or not liberals are crazy. Anyone with half a brain could spot the problem with such a methodology.

    Not preventing the respondents from visiting the survey multiple times is even more of a howler.

  11. Bobl

    @DAV English language “Faked data” means that the data was invented, that is: it is not a true representation of the belief of the individual that took the survey – Clearly you are being pedantic here. In no way could you interpret those two words to mean “Lewandowsky faked the data”. He did however set the environment where he would generate an environment that was likely to deliver him a data set fitting his views. He was clearly seeking a biased dataset. If we can believe McIntyre arguably a more trustworthy source of statistical information the data doesn’t substantiate the good Professors claims in spite of the set-up.

    Pretty good own-goal, and an absolute gift to the pro-science sceptical subclass.


  12. DAV

    Quite observant, Bobl. No one is saying Lew faked the data. Who is claiming otherwise?

  13. bob

    The whole Lewandosky affair reminds me of High School kids, where there is the self-appointed cool group, and all the others are just there.

    Lewandowsky’s mentality seems approximate this High School model.

  14. bob

    DAV said, “Quite observant, Bobl. No one is saying Lew faked the data. Who is claiming otherwise?”

    Actually, Lewandowsky could be accused of faking the data, himself. He is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he is smart enough to place his questionnaire in places where he could get predictable responses, i.e., Tamino etc.

  15. Francisco

    Mass lunacy indeed.

    A Complete List of Things Caused by global Warming (list of links to news articles)

    Once in a while I click on a link or two, especially when they involve opposite claims, like “Earth slowing down” followed by “Earth spins faster” and many more.

    But mostly this list can be best enjoyed if you read it as some kind of collective apocalyptic poem produced by mass madness, or by the need to make a buck.

  16. Aert Driessen

    When is this debate going to be conducted in ‘honest language’ using words that express intended meaning? If someone asked me ‘Do you believe in climate change?’ (irrespective of who and what might be done about it) I would answer ‘Of course’. How else does our planet cycle between snow ball and greenhouse episodes. How else does our planet recover from an ice age other than by some mechanism that raises the temperature? if people keep talking about global warming in terms of climate change (and I guess that’s half right) how are policy makers going to respond to climate change in the opposite direction? How ready will we be to combat global cooling when all the research money has been spent on responses to global warming? And the worrying part is that global cooling is much more of a worry than global warming and, in my view, also more likely.

  17. Rich

    I have Bill S’s problem too. As I read the sentence, Lewandowsky makes no statement about climate change; he makes a statement about what climatologists say about climate change which is not at all the same thing.

  18. Radical Rodent

    Quick, consider the following: all brown bears are animals. Some animals are white.

    Therefore, some brown bears are white. Is this conclusion logically implied or not?

    Now, prove to us that there are NO white brown bears in the world.

  19. Mike Ozanne

    “I assume people have been on the moon, simply because I am told so. I could not cite any scientific evidence in favor of it. It is just my belief on the basis of the authority of pictures, stories and general acceptance in society”

    It depends what you consider “Scientific Evidence” Assuming you would dismiss as anecdotal the eyewitness testimony of the Lunar and Command module crews (although I would hesitate to suggest that these gentlemen are liars). Would you accept:
    The tracking output from the Jodrell Bank and Parkes radio-observatories.
    The material samples recovered from the lunar surface.
    The large body of work from those observatories using the Lunar Laser Reflectors placed by Apollo 11,14 and 15
    The photographs from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter showing the Landing Module bases, flags and other paraphenalia at the expected locations.

  20. Mike Ozanne

    “Quick, consider the following: all brown bears are animals. Some animals are white.

    Therefore, some brown bears are white. Is this conclusion logically implied or not?

    Now, prove to us that there are NO white brown bears in the world.”

    The logical statement specifies that there is a subset of animals called ‘Brown Bears’ and a subset of animals which are ‘white’ there isn’t any information *within the statement* that implies that these two subsets overlap. As always Logic and the real world often disagree and albinism is observed in Brown Bears both in captivity and the wild.

  21. HarryG

    I find myself embarressed to admit that Lew also lives in Perth. The damage he has done to our esteemed UWA is huge.

  22. Quick, consider the following: all brown bears are animals. Some animals are white.
    Therefore, some brown bears are white. Is this conclusion logically implied or not?
    Now, prove to us that there are NO white brown bears in the world.”
    People believe in God.
    Many things people believe in are correct.
    Belief in God is correct.
    Now prove there is NO God.
    This is a common argument (prove there is no….) in climate science. First, it is virtually impossible to prove something does NOT exist. You cannot generally prove a negative.
    Second, it is NOT the job of the person questioning a conclusion that something exists and is real to prove that conclusion is false. It is the speaker’s job to prove it is true. The speaker is the one claiming to have made a discovery. If you cannot produce a white brown bear, then your hypothesis is meaningless, not to mention the conclusion was definitely reached with faulty reasoning.

  23. Mike Ozanne

    I went through the revised survey linked to WUWT, and what I can’t see is how the phrased questions could be used to decide anything about someones’s actual opinion. Example 1: Out of 100 medical students how many do you think believe that smoking causes lung cancer? How many do I think believe…! try even asking that question of a witness in a law court. Now as I understand it there are three pieces of genetic information that all have to be independently “triggered” for lung cancer to occur. Thus cigarettes don’t “cause” lung cancer in the same way as, say Curare causes muscle paralysis. This is why some dedicated smokers console themselves with their own knowledge of some fortunate individual who smoked 40 a day and lived to 95 before being shot by a jealous husband. They haven’t heard of the other unlucky sod who had one sneaky puff behind the school bike sheds and died of an “unexplained” lung cancer years later. Now I’ve never smoked (not even the 1 guilty puff) and can be assumed to believe that tobacco causes premature death. In fact don’t assume it, I do. Does that mean my answer would absolutely no quibble be 100. If I was being pedantic I could put 0 and still believe tobacco kills people(if eventually , not as an immediate first cause other terms and conditions etc..) I might think that they would all tell me that smoking massively increases my risk of lung cancer but that none of them would tell me that it is a “cause” I could put in any number in between based on my own opinion about the prevalence of precise phrasing in “Medical Students”. Now I put down 100 because what I think they were getting at is do I think that tobacco is harmful and that “medical Students” would agree. But once I’m trying to guess what they mean by the question, haven’t we lost the plot entirely?

    Likewise take :
    Out of 100 climate scientists how many do you think believe that human CO2 emissions cause climate change? . I put 100, but then the fact I think they believe it doesn’t allow the researcher to imply that I think they are right; or that they are correct about the extent, the impact or the remedy. Same goes for the fact that I agreed that Human emitted CO2 causes climate change. But for me the argument has never been about that, it’s been about extent, impact and remedy.

    So despite being in the unconvinced, I’m likely to have been categorised as a sane warmist (maybe..)

    Lets not poke the Kennedy Dragon but consider this one :
    The Oklahoma City Bombers, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols did not act alone but rather received assistance from Neo Nazi groups. Now I’m British we didn’t get full coverage and frankly I have no idea nor did I even know there was a conspiracy theory about this. On the original 4 point scale true/false scale I’d have put a 2 or a 3 putting me I suppose either 25 or 75 percent of the way towards being a kook. On looking at the thing afterwards it seems that at least 1 defendant was arguing this but it was excluded from the scope of the trial by the Judge. So in terms of the public record nobody actually knows the right answer to the question in the first place.

    As for this one:
    The Iraq War in 2003 was launched for reasons other than to remove WMD’s (Weapons of Mass Destruction) from Iraq

    is it agreement or disagreement that makes you a nutcase? Particularly as we already know that anyone who genuinely thought there was an Iraqi NBC capability has had to learn to live with deep disappointment.

    I hope I didn’t send too many people to sleep.

  24. Jeff Norman

    And anyway, polar bears are not white, they appear to be kind of whitish, and they are not entirely whitish, their noses and eyes are not whitish and that is only on the outside.

  25. TerryS

    “I assume people have been on the moon, simply because I am told so. I could not cite any scientific evidence in favor of it. It is just my belief on the basis of the authority of pictures, stories and general acceptance in society”

    Apollo 11, 14 and 15 all placed retro reflectors on the Moon. You could theoretically build your own laser to detect their presence.

    The Lunar Laser Ranging experiment fires lasers at these retro reflectors to measure the distance of the Moon from Earth. The have discovered that the Moon is moving away from the Earth at about 3.8 cm per year.

  26. Mike Ozanne

    “And anyway, polar bears are not white, they appear to be kind of whitish, and they are not entirely whitish, their noses and eyes are not whitish and that is only on the outside.”

    Nor indeed are Brown Bears entirely brown, but this could get decidedly Clintonesque……

  27. Francisco

    In his latest post, titled “Drilling into noise” Lewandowsky tells us why latent variable analysis is needed to justify the title of his paper:
    So the correlations we just reported constitute a better signal than the noise that overwhelms a selected few cells of an Excel spreadsheet, but they are still “contaminated” by measurement error or item variance—that is, the data reflect the idisosyncracy of the particular item in addition to information about the construct of interest, in this case conspiracist ideation.

    What to do?

    Enter latent variable analysis, also known as structural equation modeling (SEM).

    SEM is a technique that estimates latent constructs—that is, the hypothesized psychological construct of interest, such as intelligence or personality or conspiracist ideation. SEM does this by considering multiple items, thereby removing the measurement error that besets individual test items.

    We cannot get into the details here, but basically SEM permits computation of the error-free associations between constructs, such as one’s attitudes towards science and one’s conspiracist ideation. It is because measurement error has been reduced or eliminated, that correlations between constructs are higher in magnitude than might be suggested by the pairwise correlations between items.

    Commenter A. Scott has this to say:

    6 respondents out of 1133 voted they “Strongly Agreed” the moon landing was fake.

    4 respondents out of 1133 voted they “Agreed” the moon landing was fake.

    65 respondents out of 1133 voted they “Disagreed” the moon landing was fake.

    1058 respondents out of 1133 voted they “Strongly Disagreed” the moon landing was fake.

    Very approximately 150 of the 1133 were likely skeptics.

    Whether 10 out of 1133 total respondents or 10 out of the appx. 150 likely skeptics, there is no equation or process that will show any association whatsoever between the moon landing being fake and skepticism.

    Taking the data as a whole, perhaps you can find some specious link between conspiracy and rejection of climate science. But you cannot then say becasue we find an overall association therefore it is true there is an association between belief the moon landing was fake and climate skepticism.

    The data shows that effectively the entire sample rejects the conspiracy theory the moon landing was fake. Including essentially all the skeptics.

    The moderator (Lewandowsky) replies to those comments as follows:

    Your comment is non sequitur (your conclusions do not follow from your premise you establish). Please reword and resubmit as this comment will be deleted.

  28. Chuck L

    Isn’t Lew, I mean loo, slang for bathroom in England? Just thinkin’ …

  29. Mike Ozanne

    “Isn’t Lew, I mean loo, slang for bathroom in England? Just thinkin’ ”

    Yes, yes it is “Lewandowsky” is also an anagram of “Wank We Do Sly” if we are sticking with the British vernacular.

  30. geoffchambers

    It’s worrying that a psychologist should confuse belief and attitude. “I believe in capital punishment” does not have the same logical structure as “I believe in fairies”. His conspiracy questions are about matter of fact, yet he asks people if they (strongly) agree or disagree. Do you strongly disgree with fairies?
    Of course people strongly disagree with the moon landing being faked, they think it should have been done properly, with a real spaceship, etc.
    And the absence of a “don’t know” response meant that all genuine sceptics were automatically eliminated.

  31. Fransico … thanks … using the Moderators definitions the entire paper was a non sequitur

    “Skip to the Lew” and throw it in … is perhaps the best result for this paper 😉

  32. Robin Melville

    It’s a sad fact that most of, what might be loosely termed, “social” science descended into scholasticism decades ago. This category includes sociology, criminology, psychology (outside of the “rust-belt empiricists”), economics, and even, god help us, public health.

    These fields retain the form of science — there is data acquisition, statistics are deployed, results are discussed. But, as you so rightly point out, the whole exercise is underpinned by explicit “givens” which are entirely ideological.

    It would be no more possible for a health economist to publish that smoking saves society money than it would for someone like Lewandowsky to soberly examine his belief structures and conclude that the catastrophist view of climate change is itself a conspiracy theory.

  33. Paul Matthews

    “Phony lads went askew” (7,11)

  34. Mike Ozanne

    “It would be no more possible for a health economist to publish that smoking saves society money”

    I think in terms of tangible expenditure it probably isn’t true (for the UK anyway. Duties on the final product, and other government rake-offs from the associated economic activity more than pay the NHS expenditure on COPD and Lung Cancer care. Smokers tend to die after their peak contribution years to tax but before they pick up their pension or need geriatric nursing care.

    Usually there’s some bullcrap valuation of lost work or some such other nonsense to swing the calculation back the right way….

  35. I note that there is generally discomfort with the wording of the survey and the lack of options for answers. Adding “don’t know” or “no opinion” would have been good. However, the structure of many psych surveys will never be pleasing to scientists. Psych is obviously not black and white, not as easily measured as probably even the values in quantum physics, and will never meet the rigors of physical science. What is most interesting, is that most scientists were bothered by the lack of choices while I suspect most “conspiracy theorists” and any psych majors were not. This survey is not an attempt to define every possible belief and measure it. That’s not even possible in psych. Also, to a scientist, the conspiracy questions are a matter of “fact”. They are not so to a conspiracy theorist. Which is part of the point of the whole very messy paper. Some people deny “facts” about moon landings and 9/11 and some people deny “facts” about climate change. Lewondasky quite probably believes the evidence, scientific evidence, for climate change is equal to the evidence about 9/11 and to deny climate change is not any different. We are not talking about firm science. This is not “how fast does a hammer fall”? It’s all equations and models and probabilities and these areas are where many people are weakest when it comes to science. (What he did with the results of the survey was very, very bad science, but as a starting point for exploring people’s belief systems and attitudes, it’s pretty much on par with other psych surveys. Psychology does not try to define the truth or falsity of climate science, only understand why people agree or disagree with theory. This is not useful for finding the truth of the hypothesis, but it does affect funding, “selling” of the idea to the public, etc. If society were more scientific and less emotional, this would not be necessary. Then again, every advertising agent out there would be unemployed.

  36. BillK

    This was an excellent summary of Lew’s paper. He certainly did find and present exactly what he was looking for. Since he presented his paper as science, he is getting the reaction that he (probably unknowingly) asked for.
    I appreciate the bloggers that are keeping the “heat turned on” so he can’t just hang out with his SkS buddys and pretend he’s done the world a service. I really appreciate the effort Steve McIntire is putting in to show what a poor excuse for science the paper is from a scientist’s point of view.
    This post expresses my opinion better than I could have done myself.

  37. RCS

    Academia is full of twits like Prof L. They do sod all except publish idiotic papers and reinforce eachothers’ inflated egos in their pathetic little domains.

    I would guess that in 6 months nobody will care what this paper said and it will be forgotten.

    This would be a pity, because it is worth preserving as a masterpiece of how not to do science.

  38. Mike Ozanne


    Spanked Newsworthy lad (2,7,11)

  39. PaddikJ

    Did someone use “Lewandowsky” and “lunacy” in the same sentence?


    To paraphrase Heinlein, never ascribe to lunacy what can as easily be chalked up to dimwittedness.

  40. Francisco

    I’ve read McIntyre’s latest post analyzing the Lewandowskian statistical smoke to justify the title of his paper.

    Can’t comment on those highly esoteric details. I can only point out that many people who reported having started the survey, said they quickly abandoned it when became apparent they could not answer most of the questions without lying to themselves.

    McIntyre’s efforts are commendable as a means to answer the silly claims that superior and deep knowledge of statistics is needed to understand the validity of Lewandowsky’s paper. But really, I wonder how it has even come to that. Such efforts amount to conceding that the data thus gathered is worth analyzing in any way. No one should lose sight of the fact that it isn’t. Getting distracted by these technical discussions already concedes far too much ground. The absurdity of the survey, the inanity of its questions, the sloppiness of the way it was conducted, and the idiocy of deriving such a title from the results, all seem obvious without the need to go into any of those details. The only possible use of Lewandowsky’s paper is as an illustrative landmark in the history of academic charlatanry and –if it actually gets published– in the current state of psychological sceance in academia and the standards of the journal that publishes it.

  41. DocMartyn

    Polar Bear fur isn’t white.
    The hairs are normal mammalian hair, and is slightly colored with melanin to a dirty Madonna blond. However, the hairs are hollow and so light scatter, giving the fur the appearance of a white pelt.

  42. Russell Haley

    An oldie but a goodie! Reading this 9 years after it was posted is very enlightening.

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