Duffy does a Hovind

Last year I wrote about Steve Milloy’s latest scam — a $100,000 if you prove the existence of harmful AGW. Of course, since Milloy judges whether your prove is good enough, you know he’ll never pay up, just as you know that Kent Hovind will never pay his $250,000 for a proof of evolution.

The latest effort along these lines is Michael Duffy’s offer of $1,000 for references to journal papers that:

1 examine the causal link between anthropogenic carbon dioxide and warming, and

2 quantify the extent of the warming from anthropogenic carbon dioxide.

Now it’s possible that this offer is made in good faith, but why would you offer $1,000 for references that you can find a few minutes in the IPCC 4AR?

Nexus 6 has more details.

Comments

  1. #1 eddie
    August 11, 2008

    Scientists;

    Cite, cite, cite…

    Duffy;

    La la la la! Not listening! Not listening!

  2. #2 Bernard J.
    August 11, 2008

    How about we compile a list here and submit it to Duffy so that Deltoid can use the 1k for site upkeep.

    I would enjoy the irony…

  3. #3 James Haughton
    August 11, 2008

    Advice on using the legal system (I had in mind the small claims tribunal) to make Duffy pay up if necessary, would be appreciated.

  4. #4 z
    August 11, 2008

    you kidding? $1000 is pretty cheap compared to tuition. even to the cost of a decent researcher for a project.
    of course, he could always ask Yahoo Answers.

  5. #5 WotWot
    August 11, 2008

    James Haughton. Not a lawyer, but I am prepared to bet that the Small Claims Tribunal will not touch this one with a 30 foot pole.

  6. #6 bi -- IJI
    August 12, 2008

    Hey, let me join in the fun!

    I’ll offer an award of US$1,000,000 to anyone who can prove beyond reasonable doubt that Gore and Hansen are engaged in a conspiracy to deceive the public about global warming. I make this offer in all seriousness and sincerity; however,

    1. I get to decide what kind of “proof” constitutes proof; and
    2. I’m not going to say when I’ll pay up.

    Anyone who gives lame excuses not to accept it (where, again, “lame” is defined by me) will be ridiculed with calls of “Chicken, chicken, chicken, …”

  7. #7 Tony of South Yarra
    August 12, 2008

    My company is offering an AGW Home and Contents Insurance Cover.

    The policy will cover all loss or damage to residential property that can be shown to be as a direct result of human-induced global warming.

    All premium costs and other terms and conditions will be made mutually satisfactory–except for the one strictly non-negotiable condition: that AGW is proved to be the only possible cause.

    Anyone interested?

  8. #8 Chris O'Neill
    August 12, 2008

    My company is offering a non-AGW Home and Contents Insurance Cover.

    The policy will cover all loss or damage to residential property that can be shown to be as a direct result of causes other than human-induced global warming.

    All premium costs and other terms and conditions will be made mutually satisfactory–except for the one strictly non-negotiable condition: that a cause or causes other than AGW is or are proved to be the only possible cause or causes.

    Anyone interested?

  9. #9 TrueSceptic
    August 12, 2008

    I suspect that the catch is in the 2nd stipulation, i.e.,
    “2 quantify the extent of the warming from anthropogenic carbon dioxide.”

    Note “extent”. He will insist on a precise measure, or as McIntyre calls it, an “Engineering Quality” prediction. There is no way of winning this unless Duffy allows some uncertainty.

  10. #10 Majorajam
    August 12, 2008

    James Haughton, you could bring a tort on a breech of contract basis, but my guess is, to do so you’ll first have to get a contract. Which means challenging that there ninny to sign his name on a dotted line attached to terms and conditions. It could conceivably be worthwhile to bring an action if the document reasonably clear and phrased as is, (where there’s little if any room for a judge to permit Duffy to slither his way out from under). Of course, the liklihood of that happening is slim to none and slim’s got one foot out the door. All of which is revealing of the umpteenth iteration play-it-again-sam mincing of the wingnut jig this whole thing is.

  11. #11 jre
    August 12, 2008

    There is precedent for winning this kind of thing, but the situation has to be extreme, and you need a lot of staying power.

  12. #12 mikesmith
    August 12, 2008

    Come on bi — IJI, we all know that Gore and Hansen are the funders behind your bet… after all, they are communist who hate freedom…

  13. #13 James Haughton
    August 12, 2008

    I have sometimes wondered what the hell McIntyre means by “engineering quality”. But having been recently referred to the Salem Hypothesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_hypothesis) I now understand.
    TrueSkeptic, you miss the point that he didn’t stipulate that the quantification had to be accurate, let alone precise.
    A public declaration that he will pay doesn’t count as a contractual commitment? And therefore he will try to wiggle out? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you.

  14. #14 Bernard J.
    August 13, 2008

    Marohasy’s picked up Duffy’s idiocy, showing that the arrow between her and Duffy in the diagram of Tim’s at ">AWoS XVII should be double-ended.

    I’m sure Duffy doesn’t care about his public humiliation in the eyes of those who understand the literature, because his lackey’s don’t have the nouse to know that he is on a fool’s errand, but Jennifer should have some modicum of regard for her scientific credentials.

    I can only shake my head in disbelief…

  15. #15 Bernard J.
    August 13, 2008

    Hmmm… I just noticed Duffy’s $1000 offer on Marohay’s blog. Does this make them a circular-reference couplet?

  16. #16 James Haughton
    August 13, 2008

    Having stuck in a stick and observed with fascinated horror the response of the swarming nest of vice and den of iniquity that is Jennifer’s blog, I was made aware of the similarities between her partisans and HIV/AIDS denial (by one fellow who “argued” that believing in Global Warming is like believing that HIV causes AIDS, or that the universe was formed in the Big Bang. Well, yes.) As can be seen in this review article from the Public Library of Science (http://tinyurl.com/66y8wh) the similarities are quite obvious. I can think of/find at least 3 sources who subscribe to both: Tom Bethell, Dr Kary Mullis and “Quadrant” magazine. And of course, President Thabo Mbeki, who says he got most of his information on HIV/AIDS “off the internet”. After all the hoopla about malaria/DDT, global warming, etc, it’s quite sobering to find a case where internet skeptics really have killed millions of people. Anyone else nominate “skeptics” who subscribe to both?

  17. #17 Bernard J.
    August 13, 2008

    Erk, typing failure for the links #14:

    Jen and Duffy’s idiocy

    AWoS XVII.

    Must remember, in spite of the slowness of dial-up, that preview is my friend.

  18. #18 Bernard J.
    August 13, 2008

    Just to illustrate the company that Michael Duffy and Jennifer Marohasy keep, one of their cheer-squad, Gordon Robertson (August 11, 2008 06:52pm at the link at #17), subscribes to the right-wing conspiracy theory that HIV does not cause aquired immunodeficiency syndrome – “No one knows how HIV causes AIDS and no one can explain why it’s the only virus that can lay dormant for 15 years and suddenly overwhelm the immune system…”. Gordon thinks that recreational drugs are the baddie here.

    If Gordon had a basic first-year university understanding of the immune system he would be embarrassed to have uttered this rubbish. Admittedly, the immune system is a complex beast, and difficult to describe simply to the lay person, but its function and disfunction is no more difficult to comprehend in the HIV context than it is in, say, the application of vaccines. Although having said that I wonder if Gordon subscribes to the immunisation conspiracies…?

    The point is, any immunologist worth there salt will be able to describe the mode of action of HIV, and the paradox that makes finding a vaccine almost oxymoronic.

    At one point in his rant he even seems to impute that HIV might not exist – “The only electron microscope photos of HIV are murky renditions of cell matter or those that are computer enhanced.”

    As a biologist who understands when he is out of his depth in the intricacies of climate physics, I am similarly in my depth when this particular denialist cannard is paraded, and it brings home to me how little the denialists know in spite of their self-assurance. Socrates, Dunning, and Kruger had their fingers on the pulse, and I’m sure they’d know exactly what to think about Duffy, Marohasy and their uninformed troops…

  19. #19 TrueSceptic
    August 13, 2008

    13 James: I’m sorry but I disagree. Duffy might not explicitly say “accurate” or “precise” but that is what he will claim he means by “quantify the extent” when he refuses to pay up. He will claim that we have failed to prove *exactly* how much warming is due to CO2.

  20. #20 James Haughton
    August 13, 2008

    TrueSceptic: hmmm. Well, I intend to test it nevertheless.

  21. #21 Bernard J.
    August 13, 2008

    For those who have the discretion to avoid the ludicrousness at Marohasy’s blog, following the Duffy/Marohasy questions – an (incomplete) update.

    Note: it starts in the dungeon, and works its way down from there…

    After being supplied with dozens of references and links in answer to her question and Duffy’s, this is what Jennifer had to say to James Haughton:

    Hi James,

    I’m not sure what your qualifications are, but you assume an awful lot.

    A good scientist doesn’t assume too much. Furthermore, to assume that most of the increase in Co2 over recent decades is athropogenic [sic] is to perhaps assume too much.

    What is increasingly clear, including from your comments and emails, is that there doesn’t appear to be a body of scientific work published in reputable journals that examines the causal link between anthropogenic carbon dioxide and global warming and that also quantifies the extent of the warming from anthropogenic carbon dioxide.

    Unfortunately, however, it seems most politicians and media-types assume this to be the case. Perhaps like you, they assume too much?

    This from one of Duffy’s scientific ‘pillars’. Seriously.

    Moving on, in the same thread, this from Cohenite:

    There is no model to describe heating by CO2; CO2 is a marker/product/indicator of natural processes which effect [sic] temperature movement.

    Then followed a great deal more crowing about how the dozens of supplied references were not evidence, that in fact no evidence for a causal link between CO2 and global warming.

    Oh, and Beck was trotted out and repeatedly feted for his ‘graph’ (cough) that shows the wildly fluctuating atmospheric CO2 levels before 1957. All of these posts were by denialists blithely ignoring ice core analysis, and also the Schr√∂dinger’s Cat effect that apparently occurs after the Keeling method was adopted.

    One hoot came up with this contribution:

    This [AGW] is leftist fraud. This is a commie substitute religion. In fact we won’t be quits with this constant lying and idiocy until we get used to mass-sackings.

    Sack the offender and everyone around him in 360 degrees fashion. Just save the taxpayer a lot of money.

    …Hmmm… Indeed.

    Tim Curtin jumped in with a repeat of his one of his questions which was soundly trounced by the patient and definitely brave Barry Brooks. Apparently if one is shown to be wrong by an expert who actually has more than just a clue, one can go running back to one’s cronies and repeat one’s questions, and a new answer in keeping with one’s ideology might materialise…

    James’ persistence on this thread is to be lauded, and even if Marohasy and Duffy continue to dance around the answering of their original pair of questions and thus avoiding the payout, quite frankly James is doing the planet a great service in keeping this knot of conspirators actively engaged in their dank little cellar.

  22. #22 James Haughton
    August 13, 2008

    I’m not going to claim I’m sticking around there out of any high-minded principle. It’s more like the attraction of train-wreck television.

  23. #23 z
    August 13, 2008

    ” HIV does not cause aquired immunodeficiency syndrome – “No one knows how HIV causes AIDS and no one can explain why it’s the only virus that can lay dormant for 15 years and suddenly overwhelm the immune system…”. Gordon thinks that recreational drugs are the baddie here.”

    very likely. i believe it has been proved that feline immunodeficiency syndrome is caused by catnip abuse.

  24. #24 z
    August 13, 2008

    “Furthermore, to assume that most of the increase in Co2 over recent decades is athropogenic [sic] is to perhaps assume too much.”

    for instance, it could be a source which merely adjusts its output to match anthropogenic co2 output temporally.

    also, to assume that your personal automobile has not been stolen during the night and replaced with an exact duplicate having forged replicas of the identification numbers is an extremely rash assumption.

  25. #25 z
    August 13, 2008

    “The only electron microscope photos of HIV are murky renditions of cell matter or those that are computer enhanced.”

    no longer true:
    < http://www.naturesodyssey.com/giant-microbes-pi-3700.html?type=jpg>

  26. #26 Marion Delgado
    August 14, 2008

    One denialist nut went on and on about Six Sigma certification for climate data. It’s interesting what new criteria they’ll invent as a hoop they imagine they can force science to jump through.

  27. #27 James Haughton
    August 14, 2008

    Ack – I lost my temper – I just can’t take it anymore! Ye gods!

  28. #28 ChrisC
    August 14, 2008

    So…let me get this straight. Marohasy, a trained scientist with a doctorate, who has been prattling on, publicly, about how global warming is not happening (or if it is it’s not us…or if it is then the consequences aren’t all that bad…or if they are then it’s too expensive to do anything about it… and on to infinity) hasn’t even bothered taken the time to read the relevant primary literature?

    Did she get her PhD from the University of Google?

  29. #29 TrueSceptic
    August 14, 2008

    Marohasy is a disgrace. Either she is pretending not to know or she really doesn’t know. Neither are acceptable for someone running the website/blog that she does.

    Surely she knows that scientists should leave their politics at the door when going into the lab?

  30. #30 David
    August 14, 2008

    ChrisC – Marohasy’s degrees are in Botany, I think, but she’s been a shill for irrigation interests for many years (hence her insistence that there’s nothing wrong with the River Murray).

  31. #31 Bernard J.
    August 15, 2008

    On this idle Friday afternoon I decided to seek an occult (following the lead of the whackier denialists) insight into the nature of the beast, so I played anagrams with our tizzy gal’s name…

    I managed to come up with:

    “Ahoy! Arms! Jeer ‘n’ fin.”

    and

    “Enjoy as finer harm.”

    Says it all, really.

  32. #32 Bernard J.
    August 15, 2008

    For Michael Duffy I could only come up with:

    “Deafly, if much.”

  33. #33 Bernard J.
    August 15, 2008

    Putting them both together, I got:

    “Joy! Flimsier funny-farm headache.”

    I’m sure that the ghosts of scientists past are trying to tell us something…

  34. #34 Bernard J.
    August 15, 2008

    Last one, I promise.

    For Counterpoint…

    “Up rotten icon.”

    Now it’s back to serious writing.

  35. #35 Bernard J.
    August 15, 2008

    OK, so I lied. Well, I can’t help it – after all, I’m an AGW sympathiser…

    Climate change = “The clean magic.”

    Global warming = “Gag: ‘I’m all brown!’”

  36. #36 Ken Miles
    August 15, 2008

    13 James: I’m sorry but I disagree. Duffy might not explicitly say “accurate” or “precise” but that is what he will claim he means by “quantify the extent” when he refuses to pay up. He will claim that we have failed to prove exactly how much warming is due to CO2.

    The Crowley paper suggests that humans have caused ~75 % of the warming.

  37. #37 J Riches
    August 15, 2008

    Bernard J. I agree with you about Gordon and some of the other inhabitants in Jen’s land. The funny thing was that I saw your comment while I was looking at some immature HIV in the electron microscope. It didn’t look at all murky to me but maybe taking the images with a CCD camera makes them “computer enhanced” and thus somehow invalid.

  38. #38 Bernard J.
    August 16, 2008

    J. Riches.

    Some people really make one scratch one’s head, don’t they?

    I worked in immunology and oncology from the mid 80s to the latter part of the 90s, and I watched the story of HIV unfold from its initial discover to the sequencing of its genome.

    The fact that science actually knows what the virus looks like (Robertson’s misapprehension/lies not withstanding), and that science has also determined what genes it packs into its RNA, is a telling rebuttal to claims that it ‘does not exist’.

    The fact that we know what receptors are involved in the process of HIV infection of TH+ve cells, and the fact that we understand what happens to cells thus infected, are essentially irrefutable evidence that HIV does cause AIDS.

    The trouble is that unless one spends quite a bit of time trying to educate a person who is ignorant of fundamental immunological processes, their preconceptions and ideologies can very easily win out over truth. What is more, such ignorant memes actually spead like viruses themselves, because the inocculation that is education is not sufficiently widespread in our population to provide herd immunity…

    And in the case of HIV, even a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. One of the fundamental reasons the ‘HIV does not cause AIDS’ cannard started was that is could not be easily demonstrated to fulfill Koch’s postulates. The folk who use this ‘scientific fact’ are either completely ignorant of, or deliberately ignoring, the real fact that Koch’s postulates were formulated in the 19th century, and they represent what was at the time an astonishing insight into infectious disease processes.

    However, Koch formulated his postulates with reference to diseases that have relatively ‘straightforward’ √¶tiologies, and even in his time they were recognised to be incomplete. The 1980s saw the introduction of a molecular version of Koch’s postulates, and those conspiracy theorists who dismiss the HIV/AIDS relationship on the basis of the classical 19th century postulates would be well advised to thoroughly acquaint themselves with the modern postulates.

    Sadly, this does not happen, and the classic version of the postulates are all they need to continue to promulgate the conspiracy that still has solid root even in Western societies. In this regard these detestable folk are operating in the same manner as Lomberg does, as described on the very interesting current thread covering Lomborg’s behaviour. The only difference is that some HIV deniers, such as Duesberg and Mullis, actually had respectable scientific careers before they took leave of their senses.

    It is a salient example of the powerful resistance that ideological denial presents to science, and to scientifically indisputable fact.

    Sadly, in most fields of human understanding, to be right is often not enough…

  39. #39 Bernard J.
    August 16, 2008

    Duffy’s pot just grew slightly larger, although I rather suspect that the sincerity of the additional offer is more than a little suspect…

    “Priority 1 warning – sewer-grade quoting and linking follows (apply liberal use of [sic] as required):

    No in fact David you are just lying filth. But if you think otherwise RESUBMIT THE BREAKTHROUGH STUDY TO ME.

    And believe me if you have indeed come up with the evidence I will lobby Michael Duffy to come good and I’ll chuch in some minor amount of cash myself.”

    But thats not going to happen because you are lying. No-ones come up with the empirical evidence.

    Posted by: Graeme Bird at August 16, 2008 01:01am

    .

    Cranky old Graeme was only warming up in this post though. He racked the pace up to completely undiltuted vitriol on the pottymouth-o-meter in the following several posts on Marohasy’s Causal Linkage between Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming thread, including some nasty sprays at me for calling Robertson out on his denial of the HIV cause for AIDS.

    I’d love to see someone reckless enough to attempt to prise Graeme from his promised cash, but I reckon that the experience would only leave the poor adventurer with a permanent taste of bile in his or her mouth.

    Still, it must be noted that this is the level of climate change denialism that is promoted by the likes of Duffy and Marohasy.

    To borrow from a comment I directed at Graeme Bird, their mothers must be so proud…

  40. #40 TrueSceptic
    August 16, 2008

    This was my first dip into the Marohasy cesspit. Graeme Bird was new to me. He is now my benchmark GWSceptic. I posted a collection of his wisdom in this thread. http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003322.html#comments
    I don’t know how to link to specific posts there but it’s at the bottom now.

  41. #41 WotWot
    August 16, 2008

    Graeme Bird is in a ‘class’ all of his own. I am surprised he has not yet been sued into non-existence for defamation.

  42. #42 David
    August 17, 2008

    Wow! I’ve just earned the undying hatred of Graeme Bird. Thanks for alerting me, Bernard. It’s a badge I’ll wear with pride.

  43. #43 James Haughton
    August 17, 2008

    Graeme Bird is a member of the Liberty and Democracy Party and their candidate for the federal seat of Dobell in NSW. http://www.ldp.org.au/Candidates.html#Graeme_Bird
    As an alternative to sueing, I have written to them suggesting that they rein him in, or explain why they allow such a person to represent them. Others who have fallen foul of Mr Bird may wish to do the same.

  44. #44 TrueSceptic
    August 18, 2008

    43: James: Thanks. He reminds of that Scottish loon who’s also trying to get elected. I can’t recall his name but I’m sure he’s posted here (*not* Gordon Broon!).

  45. #45 trueSceptic
    August 18, 2008
  46. #46 Bernard J.
    August 18, 2008

    Re: #43.

    Dobell, huh? I used to live in a nearby electorate, and I am familiar with some of the characters that inhabit that part of the world…

    I reckon a possible strategy would be to contact various members of the local media and direct them to the behaviour of Bird on some of the threads of Marohasy’s blog.

    They’d be very interested in getting to the nub of the character of a candidate who carries on as he does…

  47. #47 z
    August 18, 2008

    ” Thanks. He reminds of that Scottish loon who’s also trying to get elected. I can’t recall his name ”

    McCain?

  48. #48 James Haughton
    August 29, 2008

    Jennifer has now decided to disqualify my paper by changing the definition of peer review.

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