Science blog awards and bad logic

Science blog awards and bad logic

Science blog awards and bad logic

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Nov. 5 2007 11:18 AM

Science blog awards and bad logic

I wasn't gonna dip my toes into this again, but I think I need to defend my honor here.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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One of the blogs up for the best science blog award is Climate Audit. I don't know much about it, though my perusal of it does indicate that it is on the side of global warming deniers. However, that's not the point of this entry. What's funny is that in an entry about the award, the author of Climate Audit, Steve McIntyre, makes two interesting claims. The first:

Both Pharyngula and Bad Astronomy have bad-mouthed Climate Audit.

He then goes on to put up a quotation by PZ from Pharyngula calling Climate Audit "junk science" (ironic, since Junk Science is the name of one of the blogs also up for the award, and that blog is really, really bad science; they might as well put Hoagland's site up for the award).

However, curiously, McIntyre puts up no corresponding quotation from me. Why not?

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I looked through my blog, and it turns out I have mentioned Mr. McIntyre once. In the comments to the post I wrote up about the foofooraw with temperature measurements in the US, a commenter pointed out to me that McIntyre was the one who recalibrated the measurements. I then said:

As far as thanking McIntyre, yes, it does appear he did a good thing — the folks at Real Climate say he was even thanked for his work.

I'm trying, but I don't see how that is bad-mouthing him. Is that why he doesn't show an actual quotation of me saying something bad? But that brings me to Point Number 2. McIntyre goes on to say:

This prompted a spirited defence of CA by Spence_UK and John A which seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Bad Astronomy’s attitude was similar.

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"Spirited"? In the comments section of my post on the science blogs award, a commenter says that he learned in 9th grade that CO2 was a greenhouse gas. John A responds thusly:

Really? In the 9th Grade? Are you what, in the 11th by now?

"Spirited". Heh. If by spirited you mean churlish and insulting, then yeah.

What's funny is that McIntyre seems to be confusing this blog with its comments, and me with my commenters. To be clear, his problem with this blog "bad-mouthing" him appears to be coming from the comments in this blog, and not from me my own self.

You know what? If I win the award, I will be happy, and I will use it to shill my book when it comes out next year and mock PZ and all that. If I lose and PZ wins again, then hey: he's got a great blog, as do many of the other blogs nominated. Last year, the big fight between PZ and me was just a gag, and we had fun with it. But we know that while getting this award is nice, it's not worth starting childish catfights.

So go ahead, read the blogs in question, and vote for the one you think is actually best. That's the point.