Oregon State University’s stance on science

Science at Oregon State University is no longer being applied honestly or even in any resemblance to the scientific method.  Instead of measuring statistics properly and coming to a good conclusion based off of solid data, we have incidents such as the recent Marcott paper where the data says one thing, and the scientist says another.

The story in this case seems to be that after they performed wrong calculations to get the data they wanted, they put a tiny disclaimer in after the fact that their conclusions in the paper are not based on proper methods.  Basically, in the actual paper’s abstract they make several “opinions of the author” and yet they imply strongly that their conclusions come from actual data.  What is even worse is that Dr. Marcott admits to it and yet the paper still remains and the news articles remain the same as well.   This is easy to see how this could be construed as outright fraud since the brand new PHD Dr. Marcott is performing incorrect methods and yet after admitting it does not change any of the conclusions he made in the abstract.  He was caught in the act of lying and instead of apologizing and changing the incorrect lines, he double downs on dishonesty and says that its OK to lie in his conclusions because he put a disclaimer at a separate website that explains that his methods are “not robust.”  This does not answer the questions of why he is being dishonest in the first place however.  Perhaps we need to start posing the questions for Oregon State University.  If we can not expect your scientists to ever tell the truth, how in the world can we the people trust you with our money?  And if you can not even apply the scientific method correctly, why should we trust our children in your hands when you obviously just teach them to lie, cheat, and steal instead of following proper science?

These are serious questions for the university as it is apparent that the university condones that behavior in its brand new PHD’s such as Dr. Marcott who has proved the case that the university will reward you a PHD for lying and improper techniques as long as you say “the correct things.”  The correct things in this case are that recent temperature changes (in the last 100 years ) are unprecedented and that the oceans of the world are going to boil over as well as anything remotely connected to catastrophe no matter how impossible said catastrophe is.  In this case, Dr. Marcott created a series by averaging together various proxies and creating a series of temperatures over the last 11,000 years.  Instead of drawing conclusions on the data itself, he actually changed the data without explanation and the final data resembled a hockey stick suddenly.  This is documented here:   and  here:   .

After the errors in the methodology are pointed out, does Dr. Marcott become suddenly honest and explain why he changed the measurements?  No, instead he says the following:

From the FAQ as written by Dr. Marcott (1)

Thus, the 20th century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions.

However, from the original abstract: (2) http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198.abstract

Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time.

and

Current global temperatures of the past decade have not yet exceeded peak interglacial values but are warmer than during ~75% of the Holocene temperature history. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model projections for 2100 exceed the full distribution of Holocene temperature under all plausible greenhouse gas emission scenarios.

Obviously, we have someone either lying here or being untruthful.  They first stated outright that the uptick matters and they make conclusions in their abstract about what the uptick means.  This was picked up by the media as well who went and stated in multiple places “present warming is unprecedented.”  In fact, the data produced by Dr. Marcott shows no such warming as he claims, and the only reason this was picked up on at all was that he performed bad methods to artificially produce this uptick.  Then to justify it, he and other “scientists” are claiming that this uptick can be seen in instrument measurements or perhaps other pseudo-scientific papers.   But we are talking about two different methods here; one the method that Dr. Marcott uses which is a composite of many forms of “proxies” and that of modern temperature instruments.  We know we have warmed over the 100 years and just because we know this is no reason to change data in the proxies to match reality.  That is not how science works at all though.  You can not torture statistics or change the data as you want just to get the measurements to match other sources.  That is not science, and even admitting that this is not a proper technique does not change the fact that your paper is now completely worthless.  Your data and methods and graphs show one thing, and then you say something completely the opposite of what they show.  This is being an activist and lying in order to get a political point across.  This is basically for all intents and purposes the bastardization of science.

But perhaps we should not be surprised.  Most modern climate scientists are taking the viewpoint of the late Dr. Schneider who said this:

On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.

(Quoted in Discover, pp. 45–48, Oct. 1989. )

Which basically means that you attempt to be honest, but you stop being honest the second your findings are not “effective” for the cause.  This is where science is progressing at such universities as Oregon State University.   We are turning out new PHD’s such as Dr. Marcott who lie through their teeth for the cause and do not care one iota if what they report is correct or not.  They also do not care if the media takes their reports and reports the wrong things.  They do not demand corrections and they do not demand honesty from their work after it leaves their hands.  They take no responsibility in other words for how they show the planet to the average person.  This means that this incident proves that not only can you not trust scientists from Oregon State University, but you probably can not trust anything other scientists in this field either.  Its a shame that science has progressed to this stage and we are now stuck with liars and cheats in such once proud and scientific universities as Oregon State which are turning themselves into irrelevant as they lie and cheat just to get 15 minutes of fame.

Perhaps this is the way our scientists will sell their souls and ignore the real world.  Perhaps the cause to them is so important that even if the proof that they were wrong came across their desk, that they would ignore it and keep chirping about how catastrophic climate change is going to destroy the planet despite evidence to the contrary.  What we need now is a house cleaning in science to restore it to its previous status.  If this keeps up, the average person on the street is not going to believe anything a PHD says and therein lies the problem.  Once the average person thinks universities such as Oregon State are terrible and worth zero, that is the day that we all lose.  So now is the time to clean up our acts and to throw out the post-modern science nonsense.  Be honest, or get out.  That has got to be the new motto for science which has suffered for years under the idea that we can “save the world” if we lie, cheat and steal.  No, you can not save the world and all you end up doing is becoming yet another cheating lying bastard.

Sources:

1) http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/03/response-by-marcott-et-al/

2) http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198.abstract

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One response to “Oregon State University’s stance on science

  1. Honesty and common sense are casualties of political correctness run amuck.
    There’s a lot of money and reputation on the table – the CAGW crowd is all in and anything goes.

    BenfromMO: Very true. I think in my next post I will prove logically why this is true and why the science they “discover” will never explain the planet correctly. In one word: observer bias.

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