12/26/14

Permalink Nature admits peer review filters out controversial “champion” papers

How to separate creative genius from creative mistakes? Not with peer-review. It is a consensus filter. Classical peer review is a form of scientific gatekeeping (it’s good to see that term recognized in official literature). Unpaid anonymous peer review is useful at filtering out some low quality papers, it is also effective at blocking the controversial ones which later go on to be accepted elsewhere and become cited many times, the paradigm changers. And the more controversial the topic, presumably, the worse the bias is. What chance would anyone have of getting published if, hypothetically, they found a consequential mathematical error underlying the theory of man-made global warming? Which editors would be brave enough to even send it out for review and risk being called a “denier”? Humans are gregarious social beings, and being in with the herd affects your financial rewards, as well as your social standing. Even high ranking science journal editors are afraid of being called names.


12/20/14

Permalink Deepest fish and 'supergiants' filmed in the Mariana Trench

Scientists at the University of Aberdeen have set a new record for the world's deepest fish, filmed in the Mariana Trench - the deepest place on Earth. The new finding was just one of several new species discovered, as well as the first footage of the mysterious ‘supergiant’ amphipod filmed alive. The footage was recorded using the UK’s deepest diving vehicle – the Hadal-Lander – a vehicle designed and built entirely in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. An international team of marine biologists, geologists, microbiologists and geneticists, including those from the University of Aberdeen’s Oceanlab, have just returned from the first detailed study of the Mariana Trench aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Research Vessel Falkor. The team completed an unprecedented92 deployments of deep-sampling equipment across the entire depth range of the trench; 5000 m – 10,600 m. The video footage, captured by scientists from Oceanlab depicts a type of snailfish at depths of 8145 metres deep – the greatest depth a fish has ever been observed, beating their own 2008 record by nearly 500 metres. The team had already discovered a new species of snailfish living between 6000 and 8000m, itself a depth record, but it was an elusive and extremely fragile second species that had them surprised.


11/20/14

Permalink CLIMATEGATE: A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY (UPDATED FOR NOVEMBER 2014)

"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back." -- Carl Sagan

Andrew Montford CONSENSUS? WHAT CONSENSUS?


11/18/14

Permalink Climate change was not to blame for the collapse of the Bronze Age

Scientists will have to find alternative explanations for a huge population collapse in Europe at the end of the Bronze Age as researchers prove definitively that climate change – commonly assumed to be responsible – could not have been the culprit. Archaeologists and environmental scientists from the University of Bradford, University of Leeds, University College Cork, Ireland (UCC), and Queen’s University Belfast have shown that the changes in climate that scientists believed to coincide with the fall in population in fact occurred at least two generations later. Their results, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that human activity starts to decline after 900BC, and falls rapidly after 800BC, indicating a population collapse. But the climate records show that colder, wetter conditions didn’t occur until around two generations later.


11/07/14

Permalink DNA evidence proves that early humans survived the last Ice Age

The earliest humans to live in Europe managed to survive the last Ice Age, a ferocious change in the climate that covered much of the continent in a thick layer of ice, a study has found. Scientists analysing the genetic makeup of the fossilised bones of a man who lived about 37,000 years ago in what is now western Russia found that his DNA is similar to modern-day Europeans suggesting they have a longer, continuous history than previously supposed. The fossilised shinbone was found at a Stone Age site near the village of Kostenki on the River Don, and the successful extraction and sequencing of the man’s DNA means it is now the second oldest complete genome for anatomically modern humans, Homo sapiens.


10/14/14

Permalink Climate change DOUBT: Study shows carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere are OVERSTATED

CLIMATE change forecasts may be overestimates due to a failure to take into account how plants absorb carbon dioxide, scientists warned today. They said the impact of rising CO2 levels on plant growth has been underestimated by 16 per cent. And as plants absorb CO2, this has led to overestimates of how much of the greenhouse gas is left in the atmosphere. Climate sceptics said the study by American scientists is yet more proof that the science of climate change is not settled and is instead much more complicated than previously thought. And one leading climate scientist said the paper suggests that cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases may not need to be as deep to keep global warming below what is seen as the critical increase of 2C. This casts doubt on the drive for costly anti-pollution measures such as wind farms. Climate change is widely blamed on man's burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas which release greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide that trap the heat in the atmosphere. The study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences focusses on the slow diffusion of CO2 in plant leaves, with particular attention to the mesophyll or their inner tissue. It concludes: "Carbon cycle models that lack explicit understanding of mesophyll diffusion will underestimate historical and future terrestrial carbon uptake. "Consequently, they will overestimate historical and future growth rates of atmospheric CO2 concentration due to fossil fuel emissions, with ramifications for predicted climate change."


10/04/14

Permalink Study: Internet Trolls Are Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sadists

A new study shows that internet trolls really are just terrible human beings. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response. What kind of person would do this? Canadian researchers decided to find out. They conducted two internet studies with over 1,200 people. They gave personality tests to each subject along with a survey about their internet commenting behavior. They were looking for evidence that linked trolling with the Dark Tetrad of personality: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadistic personality. They found that Dark Tetrad scores were highest among people who said trolling was their favorite internet activity. To get an idea of how much more prevalent these traits were among internet trolls


09/22/14

Permalink MAVEN Spacecraft Enters Mars’ Orbit: NASA

MAVEN spacecraft has entered Mars' upper atmosphere, the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) reported. "This was a very big day for MAVEN," David Mitchell, MAVEN project manager from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland was quoted as saying in a press release published by NASA Sunday. MAVEN was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida November 18, 2013. Its journey took 10 months, during which the spacecraft covered a distance of 711 million kilometers (442 million miles). According to NASA, MAVEN's mission is to take measurements of the composition, structure and escape of gases in Mars' upper atmosphere and its interaction with the sun and solar wind. The measurements will provide information down to where the upper and lower atmospheres meet, giving scientists a full profile of its upper tier.

NASA: NASA’s Newest Mars Mission Spacecraft Enters Orbit around Red Planet

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Scientific American: Touchdown Site Selected for Comet Lander


09/17/14

Permalink Review of 1961 Yale experiments leads researchers to revise motive for evil

Review of famous Yale experiments of 1961 leads to new understanding of what allows seemingly normal people to carry out atrocities. The question of what prompts ordinary people to commit acts of evil has been debated by philosophers, moralists, historians and scientists for centuries. One idea that carries much weight is that almost anyone is capable of carrying out atrocities if ordered to do so. Commanded by an authoritarian figure, and wishing to conform, we could bulldoze homes, burn books, separate parents from children or even slaughter them, and our much-prized conscience would not as much as flicker. Called the "banality of evil", the theory has been proffered as an explanation for why ordinary, educated Germans took part in the Jewish genocide of the second world war. Now psychologists, having reviewed an opinion-shaping experiment carried out more than 50 years ago, are calling for a rethink. "The more we read and the more data we collect, the less evidence we find to support the 'banality of evil' idea, the notion that participants are simply 'thoughtless' or 'mindless' zombies who don't know what they're doing and just go along for the sake of it," said Alex Haslam, a professor at the University of Queensland in Australia. "Our sense is that some form of identification, and hence choice, generally underpins all tyrannical behaviour."


09/16/14

Permalink And then they came for The Holocene...

And then they came for The Holocene: New paper suggests “removing the Holocene Epoch from the geologic timescale”. Is there any limit to the extremes some climate propagandists will go?The Climategate team removed the warm 1940’s “blip”, erased the Medieval Warm Period, Hid the Decline, and tortured temperature & sea level data until it confessed, but a paper published Monday in Earth’s Future could take the cake by suggesting removal of “the Holocene Epoch from the geologic timescale” and replacing it with the fictitious, scary-sounding “geologic” timescale “The Anthropocene.” [...] There is no valid reason whatsoever to remove the Holocene Epoch “blip” from the geological timescale, despite how convenient it would be for the climate propagandists.


09/02/14

Permalink Global Warming ‘Pause’ Could Last For 30 Years

The 17-year pause in global warming is likely to last into the 2030s and the Arctic sea ice has already started to recover, according to new research. A paper in the peer-reviewed journal Climate Dynamics – by Professor Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Dr Marcia Wyatt – amounts to a stunning challenge to climate science orthodoxy. Not only does it explain the unexpected pause, it suggests that the scientific majority – whose views are represented by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – have underestimated the role of natural cycles and exaggerated that of greenhouse gases. (Source)

Tim Ball Green Journalism; Mainstream Media Creating Climate Stories


09/01/14

Permalink Stunning satellite images show summer ice cap is thicker than 2 years ago

The speech by former US Vice-President Al Gore was apocalyptic. ‘The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff,’ he said. ‘It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.’ Those comments came in 2007 as Mr Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaigning on climate change. But seven years after his warning, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that, far from vanishing, the Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in succession – with a surge, depending on how you measure it, of between 43 and 63 per cent since 2012. To put it another way, an area the size of Alaska, America’s biggest state, was open water two years ago, but is again now covered by ice.


06/03/14

Permalink 'Godzilla of Earths': Alien Planet 17 Times Heavier Than Our World Discovered

Scientists have just discovered the "Godzilla of Earths" — a new type of huge and rocky alien world about 560 light-years from Earth. || Dubbed a "mega-Earth," the exoplanet Kepler-10c weighs 17 times as much as Earth and it circles a sunlike star in the constellation Draco. The mega-Earth is rocky and also bigger than "super-Earths," which are a class of planets that are slightly bigger than Earth. Theorists weren't actually sure that a world like the newfound exoplanet could exist. Scientists thought that planets of Kepler-10c's size would be gaseous, collecting hydrogen as they grew and turning into Jupiter-like worlds. However, researchers have now found that the newly discovered planet is rocky, Christine Pulliam, a spokeswoman with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, wrote in a statement announcing the find.

Business Insider: Scientists Have Discovered A Planet They Thought Was Impossible


05/17/14

Permalink Global warming research suppressed due to intolerance of scepticism, claims scientist

Professor Lennart Bengtsson says recent McCarthy-style pressure from fellow academics forced him to resign from his post on a climate sceptic think-tank. The research fellow from the University of Reading believes a paper he co-authored was deliberately suppressed from publicatoin in a leading journal because of an intolerance of dissenting views about climate change by scientists who peer-reviewed the work. “The problem we have now in the scientific community is that some scientists are mixing up their scientific role with that of climate activist,” he told the Times. Professor Bengtsson claims a scientist advised that the paper, which challenged findings that global temperature would increase by 4.5C if greenhouse gases were to double, should not be published in a respected journal because it was “less than helpful.” The unnamed scientist, who was asked to peer review Professor Bengtsson’s paper, said in his comments: “Actually it is harmful as it opens the door for oversimplified claims of ‘errors’ and worse from the climate sceptics side.”

Roy Spencer: The Bullying of Bengtsson and the Coming Climate Disruption Hypocalypse
Adriana Cohen: Climate change yet another excuse for the ‘Nanny State’


05/14/14

Permalink Antarctic sea ice at record levels

ANTARCTIC sea ice has expanded to record levels for April, increasing by more than 110,000sq km a day last month to nine million square kilometres. The National Snow and Ice Data Centre said the rapid expansion had continued into May and the seasonal cover was now bigger than the record “by a significant margin’’.

Steve Kates A Chilling Appraisal Of Climate Change (Book review) || The book reminds me just how viciously stupid have been the left’s attempts to gag debate on global warming. Had the only evidence available supported the warmists’ cause, there might have been something worth continuing to discuss. Instead, with the abrupt end to the warming phase between fifteen and twenty years ago [...], we should actually be looking at the effects that may follow if a solar minimum is about to recur, as it did during the Little Ice Age which ended not all that long ago. Suppose the Thames were to begin freezing over again, as it last did in 1802, how will we get on in a world of such cold and reduced growing seasons? Try that out in conversation the next time some propaganda-programmed dimwit brings up climate change. Global warming is climate change for idiots. A cooling climate may be the real thing and the possibility should be treated with the utmost seriousness. The subtitle, “Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish and Short", is exactly what the book explains. It’s a book with a message we should all be thinking about, and not just here in Australia but across the world.


04/30/14

Permalink Maverick Geneticist Plans Tests On Khazar Bones

Ted Pike In 2013 Johns Hopkins geneticist Eran Elhaik, Ph.D. very largely destroyed prevailing genetic theory concerning the origin of eastern European “Ashkenazi” Jews -- roughly three quarters of Jews in the world today. In his groundbreaking article “The Missing Link of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses,” published in the prestigious scientific journal Genome Biology and Evolution, Elhaik reported the results of his first major study of Ashkenazim genetics. He said the genetic evidence indicates the roots of most “Jews” today are to be found in the east, in the ancient kingdom of Khazaria, converted to Judaism in the 8th century AD. So compelling is Elhaik’s research that the scientific community remains stunned. It could be even more stunned in months to come. Elhaik told me by email: "My goals are to raise enough money to genotype the Khazar skeletons we found and deliver the final evidence to the origin of European Jews and publish the findings." This is explosive in its potential. If, indeed, he is able to determine through genetic tests that DNA within ancient Khazar bones generally corresponds to DNA within modern eastern European Jews, it will settle with finality that most "Jews" today are descended from an 8th century A.D. Eurasian nation of traders and warriors, not Abraham.

Window To Palestine: New Genome Study Destroys Zionist Claims to Palestine
Jim W. Dean: Zionists design myth of Jewish genome to usurp Palestine


04/15/14

Permalink US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study

Eric Zuesse "Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But, ..." and then they go on to say, it's not true, and that, "America's claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened" by the findings in this, the first-ever comprehensive scientific study of the subject, which shows that there is instead "the nearly total failure of 'median voter' and other Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories [of America]. When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy." To put it short: The United States is no democracy, but actually an oligarchy.


04/09/14

Permalink Light on Mars? Mystery flash seen on Red Planet

Nasa's Curiosity rover has photographed a flash of light on the surface of Mars, prompting speculation about what could have caused the anomaly. A bright flash of light photographed by NASA's Curiosity rover has sent the Web into a frenzy, with many bloggers speculating it could be a sign of intelligent light. The photo, beamed millions of miles from Mars to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, was taken last week, apparently by one of two NASA rovers on the red planet. On April 2, the Curiosity rover drove the last 98 feet needed to arrive at "the Kimberley," a spot where it can study rock clues about ancient environments that might have been favorable for life. UFO blogger Scott Waring claims that the photograph suggests there are intelligent creatures living underground. "This is not a glare from the sun, not is it an artifact of the photo process," he wrote. ‘Look closely at the bottom of the light. It has a very flat surface giving us 100 per cent indication it is from the surface. "Sure Nasa could go and investigate it, but hey, they are not on Mars to discover life, but there to stall its discovery. "This could indicate there is intelligent life below the ground and uses light as we do." However , Doug Ellison from JPL, Nasa’s robotic exploration wing, has said the light source is probably does not represent proof of Martians.


04/03/14

Permalink What the IPCC left out: the benefits of global warming

Rupert Darwall It needs catastrophe scenarios to sell their ideas || Its most eye-catching claim (in the new WGII report) is that negative impacts of climate change on crop yields are more common to date than positive impacts are. This improbable claim finds only the weakest support in the main body of the report, with its qualification that climate change played a “minor role.” It is, the report states, “extremely difficult” to define a clear baseline from which to assess the impact of climate change, and many non-climate factors are often difficult to quantify. More egregiously, the summary speaks of rapid price increases following climate extremes since the 2007 report. This negligence amounts to downright dishonesty, as the summary omits mention of one of the principal causes of the 2007–08 spike in food prices, which is highlighted in the main body of the report. It was not climate change that increased food costs, but climate policies in the form of increased use of food crops in biofuel production, exacerbated by higher oil prices and government embargoes on food exports. Source

Tony Thomas: Finally, Some Real Climate Science


03/31/14

Permalink Team of scientists release 'global warming' counter report

This week, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is releasing its latest report, the “Working Group II Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report.” Like its past reports, this one predicts apocalyptic consequences if mankind fails to give the UN the power to tax and regulate fossil fuels and subsidize and mandate the use of alternative fuels. But happily, an international group of scientists I have been privileged to work with has conducted an independent review of IPCC’s past and new reports, along with the climate science they deliberately exclude or misrepresent. Our group, called the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), was founded in 2003 by a distinguished atmospheric physicist, S. Fred Singer, and has produced five hefty reports to date, the latest being released today (March 31). So how do the IPCC and NIPCC reports differ? The final draft of the IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers identifies eight “reasons for concern” which media reports say will remain the focus of the final report. The NIPCC reports address each point too, also summarizing their authors’ positions in Summaries for Policymakers. This provides a convenient way to compare and contrast the reports’ findings.


03/01/14

Permalink Humans are NOT to blame for global warming - Greenpeace

Humans are NOT to blame for global warming, says Greenpeace co-founder, as he insists there is 'no scientific proof' climate change is manmade. There is no scientific proof of man-made global warming and a hotter earth would be ‘beneficial for humans and the majority of other species’, according to a founding member of environmental campaign group Greenpeace. The assertion was made by Canadian ecologist Patrick Moore, a member of Greenpeace from 1971 to 1986, to U.S senators on Tuesday. He told The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee: ‘There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years. If there were such a proof it would be written down for all to see. No actual proof, as it is understood in science, exists.’


02/25/14

Permalink Why Kerry Is Flat Wrong on Climate Change

Richard McNider & John Christy In a Feb. 16 speech in Indonesia, Secretary of State John Kerry assailed climate-change skeptics as members of the "Flat Earth Society" for doubting the reality of catastrophic climate change. He said, "We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists" and "extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts." But who are the Flat Earthers, and who is ignoring the scientific facts? In ancient times, the notion of a flat Earth was the scientific consensus, and it was only a minority who dared question this belief. We are among today's scientists who are skeptical about the so-called consensus on climate change. Does that make us modern-day Flat Earthers, as Mr. Kerry suggests, or are we among those who defy the prevailing wisdom to declare that the world is round? [...] We should not have a climate-science research program that searches only for ways to confirm prevailing theories, and we should not honor government leaders, such as Secretary Kerry, who attack others for their inconvenient, fact-based views.

Charles Battig: Mass destruction of science: John Kerry at work!


02/24/14

Permalink Surprise: Ashkenazi Jews Are Genetically European

The origin of the Ashkenazi Jews, who come most recently from Europe, has largely been shrouded in mystery. But a new study suggests that at least their maternal lineage may derive largely from Europe. Though the finding may seem intuitive, it contradicts the notion that European Jews mostly descend from people who left Israel and the Middle East around 2,000 years ago. Instead, a substantial proportion of the population originates from local Europeans who converted to Judaism, said study co-author Martin Richards, an archaeogeneticist at the University of Huddersfield in England.

New York Times: Genes Suggest European Women at Root of Ashkenazi Family Tree
Window To Palestine: New Genome Study Destroys Zionist Claims to Palestine


02/20/14

Permalink 600 year old mystery manuscript decoded by University of Bedfordshire professor

An award-winning professor from the University has followed in the footsteps of Indiana Jones by cracking the code of a 600 year old manuscript, deemed as ‘the most mysterious’ document in the world. Stephen Bax, Professor of Applied Linguistics, has just become the first professional linguist to crack the code of the Voynich manuscript using an analytical approach. The world-renowned manuscript is full of illustrations of exotic plants, stars, and mysterious human figures, as well as many pages written in an unknown text. Up until now the 15th century cryptic work has baffled scholars, cryptographers and codebreakers who have failed to read a single letter of the script or any word of the text. Over time it has attained an infamous reputation, even featuring in the latest hit computer game Assassin’s Creed, as well as in the Indiana Jones novels, when Indiana decoded the Voynich and used it to find the ‘Philosopher's Stone’. However in reality no one has come close to revealing the Voynich’s true messages. Professor Bax however has begun to unlock the mystery meanings of the Voynich manuscript using his wide knowledge of mediaeval manuscripts and his familiarity with Semitic languages such as Arabic. Using careful linguistic analysis he is working on the script letter by letter.


02/11/14

Permalink A Catastrophic Cooling 5,200 Years Ago Was Preceeded by a Few Decades of Warming and Low Sunspot Activity: Sound Familiar?

The 2004 annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union saw evidence that proved beyond doubt that a devastating and abrupt change in climate happened 5,200 years ago. Now when I say abrupt I really do mean abrupt. A massive and profound global cooling event happened 5,200 years ago, and one of the leading scientists in the field of ice core analysis thinks it’s about to happen again. Not much was said about this outside of scientific circles, certainly nothing was said by the government. Even the words and research of a world renowned expert count for nothing. As far as the warmist government is concerned, we are all to believe we will die of heatstroke in the next 50 years. Thompson even mentions the Sun, and it’s role in climate forcing, and once again, just like 5,200 years ago, the Sun is showing the lowest activity for a century. Predictions for solar cycle 25 are that there may not be any sunspots at all.


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