Monday, October 20, 2008

The Silence of the Lambs

Time to check in with the ongoing pursuit for scientific integrity over at Climate Audit, where the latest series of posts here, here and here, illustrate the persistence of basic scientific problems within the climate data that all proponents rely upon for promotion and proselytization of the accepted AGW dogma.

What has remained constant is the vigilance of Climate Audit in screening out the basics of climate reconstruction proxy studies and their meaning.  What has remained equally as intransigent, apparently, is the resistance within the principal field of dendro-chronology to any procedural adjustments that address the central constraints on the validity of the data produced by such proxy temperature studies.

What has changed, however, is the audience.  Where once Climate Audit was a solo effort of one man, Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit has developed into a community of interest, of informed contribution and much greater awareness than its initial stages.  Subsequently, the postings and comments at Climate Audit reveal a depth and quality of understanding of issues, the nuances of procedure and of the language of the dominant science that it is auditing. Moreover, other commentators from other fields  are cognizant of what is being discussed and recognize that glib appeals to intellectual authority are not a sufficient defence for silence when scientific integrity has been, and continues to be, sacrificed on a alter of ideological correctness and career advancement.

The issue in its simplest form is this:

  • can flaws in scientific methodology be overlooked if the results are consistent with "known consensus"?
Or should the focus be on:
  • science as a means of understanding is dependent upon the integrity its methodology: results are only as valid as the methodology used to create them 
  • consensus is an ideological construct suited to politics but inappropriate within science
  • science should be a tool for enlightenment, not an instrument of authoritarianism