Skeptical Science iPhone app

John Cook’s Skeptical Science iPhone app has really taken off. So much so that Andrew Bolt has incorporated it into his conspiracy theories.


  1. #1 John
    February 23, 2010

    The conspiracies start in the comments:

    …and I wonder who’s behind it, someone is funding all this but who??

  2. #2 MikeH
    February 23, 2010

    At this point Bolt’s post has not received the usual rapturous applause from his followers. They are all busy “phoning a friend” to find out what this “iPhone” thing is.

    The comment from Black Knight probably wasn’t what he expected.


    Thanks Andrew. I didn’t know this app existed. But I do now and I’ve just downloaded and installed it.

    The bonus is of cause…it’s free.

    The Black Knight

  3. #3 Mike
    February 23, 2010

    I know pseudosceptics like Bolt often clutch at straws to imply global warming conspiracies are sprouting everywhere, but a secret funding source for an iphone app?

    Oh come on now. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more stupid, I get taken by surprise yet again!

  4. #4 Stephen Clements
    February 23, 2010

    Mike, @13.

    Nothing, nothing, should surprise you about A.B. Especially the level of stupidity he and some of his followers exhibit regularly.

  5. #5 Ezzthetic
    February 23, 2010

    but a secret funding source for an iphone app?

    Well, he was pushing the line that Google was suppressing “Climategate” as a suggested search term.

    I think he has the idea that this is symptomatic of a consipracy amongst supposedly progressive IT companies.

  6. #6 Stephen Clements
    February 23, 2010

    That should be ” … @ #3″ πŸ™

  7. #7 Ezzthetic
    February 23, 2010

    the level of stupidity he and some of his followers exhibit regularly.

    You’re telling me.

    It should be “someone is funding all this but whom“.

  8. #8 Dave55
    February 23, 2010

    the level of stupidity he and some of his followers exhibit regularly.

    Yeah, but Andrew must be feeling pretty lonely at the moment because even his regulars haven’t followed him into this idiotic wilderness.

  9. #9 Steven Sullivan
    February 24, 2010

    The denialists comments on that thread are exceptionally hilarious. Too bad they’re allowed to vote.

  10. #10 Dave55
    February 24, 2010

    Scratch my last post, I spoke too soon – the gates have opened and the followers do what the do best -talk nonsense like their messiah.

  11. #11 llewelly
    February 24, 2010

    Wait. There are iPhone apps out there for creationists. What do creationists have that AGW-denialists don’t?
    Anyway, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before some denier writes up an app. But then, if some had asked me, say, 6 months ago, for an ETA on an iPhone app for spouting denier talking points I’d have put my $0.02 on 90 days.

  12. #12 Mithrandir
    February 24, 2010

    There’s also a general-purpose conservative talking points app too. Amusingly, it’s a paid app.

  13. #13 Ezzthetic
    February 24, 2010

    Has no-one twigged on the connection between Al Gore and Apple?

    Come to think of it “Gore” does sound a bit like “core”.

    And then there’s the “twig” part. Apples are connected by twigs …

  14. #14 Lotharsson
    February 24, 2010

    I posted a comment in response to James’ argument that “1 in 85,800 molecules” can’t possibly warm the climate, and “1 in 33 CO2 molecules” are anthropogenic but the “other 32” are said not to. High confidence coupled with fantastic ignorance is a great combination, no?

    Wonder if my comment will get published? At least one other critique of that comment has made it, so perhaps…

  15. #15 Lars Karlsson
    February 24, 2010

    I suppose the “sceptics” have to come up with their own app. For instance one that gives you misquotes of climate scientists, either taken from stolen emails or simply made up (sorry, paraphrased).

  16. #16 Alex
    February 24, 2010

    Anyway, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before some denier writes up an app.

    Yeah, it would say: Al Gore is fat

  17. #17 spangled drongo
    February 24, 2010

    But did you get as far as his “The disgrace is not in the dodgy science but in the exposing of it”.

    Who does that remind you of?

    I’ll give you a clue, its close to home.

  18. #18 bluegrue
    February 24, 2010

    The Telegraph shows its true colors. The following is by Shane Richmond, Head of Technology (Editorial) for Telegraph Media Group, emphasis added.

    >As I say, it’s unlikely to convince Telegraph readers who, if the recent Climategate debate – led by our own James Delingate [_sic_] – is anything to go by, are climate change deniers to a man. We also know that __iPhone owners are all Lefties__. Still, perhaps you could use it to __keep track of what the _enemy_ is up to__. It is free, after all.


  19. #19 jakerman
    February 24, 2010


    I thought that was interesting too. Shane Richmond laid it on so thick that I wouldn’t be surprised if he is opposed to the tactics of Delingpole et al, and might have some contempt the denialism of his paper’s readers.

  20. #20 Rastus
    February 24, 2010

    I wonder if this has anything to do with it ..nah cant be the case they wouldnt employ a crook, the darling of the alarmanistas.

  21. #21 Neil
    February 24, 2010


    Apple is part of the Vast Warmist Communistical Conspiracy(TM)!?!?!//?!111! I knew it, all along!!!!

    I must burn my MacBook Pro!!1 I must burn it *immediately*!!!

    PS. Does anyone have Steve Jobs’ email address?

  22. #22 Lionel A Smith
    February 24, 2010

    I note that Bolt finishes with:

    ‘(Thanks to reader Newt.)’

    Would that be Newt as in Gingrich?

    Sounds about right.

    Pathetic. Bolt is clearly in over his head, cue cartoon of Bolt with iPods whizzing over his head, many captions would fit this.

  23. #23 Stu J
    February 24, 2010

    The denialists won’t make their own app, they’ll just make endless demands for the source code for this one.

  24. #24 jakerman
    February 24, 2010

    Stu J gets my vote!


  25. #25 Joseph
    February 24, 2010

    I suppose the “sceptics” have to come up with their own app. For instance one that gives you misquotes of climate scientists, either taken from stolen emails or simply made up (sorry, paraphrased).

    Or one that provides nonsensical denials of fairly obvious historical observations. A couple I’ve seen lately:

    (1) If the Earth warms, the ice caps should actually grow, because there’s more precipitation, etc.

    (2) If the Earth warms, sea level should actually decline, because water evaporates.

    I kid you not.

  26. #26 Neil
    February 24, 2010

    I think the sceptic app would be something like this:

    Take a photo of a person or object, and it tells you if they/it is part of the Communist Conspiracy, using the following advanced algorithm:

    function isCommunist(Object o) {
    return true;

  27. #27 Lotharsson
    February 24, 2010

    Stu J @ 23 – LOL πŸ™‚

    And then they’ll spend three years attempting to rewrite it to show that its calculations of integer pixel coordinates are incorrect, never realising that it uses a floating point coordinate system πŸ˜‰

  28. #28 Lotharsson
    February 24, 2010

    I reckon this is a plot to make denialism uncool by persuading them all to decide individually for themselves based rationally on the available evidence that iPhones just aren’t the right communications tool for them.

    Al Gore on the Apple board is just icing on the cake for this conspiracy theory πŸ˜‰

  29. #29 Lotharsson
    February 24, 2010

    My first comment on Bolt’s blog was published. There’s a dodgy reply that I’ve now tried to reply to. Let’s see if that makes it.

  30. #30 mb
    February 24, 2010

    Well naturally; everyone knows that apples start out green but turn bright red.

    Far be it for me to doubt the sincerity of the insane, but I think it’s the right-wing’s regular successes with the persecution shtick that keeps them coming back for more. They won’t be satiated until you have to download both sides, and anything even remotely accurate has to be interleaved with reminders that physics = Hitler.

  31. #31 Hank Roberts
    February 24, 2010

    Quick, get the DenialDepotApp out.
    It will be popular with its target audience.
    BUT charge for it, at least $0.02
    Remember, they need the market validation.

  32. #32 TrueSceptic
    February 24, 2010

    Long discussion at [RealClimate]( John Cook says it’s coded by Shine Technologies. As it’s free, I assume they see it as advertising their business, as is the case for many free apps.

    Yes, I do have an iPhone and it does have this app on it! It auto-updates if there are new entries.

  33. #33 TrueSceptic
    February 24, 2010

    18 bluegrue,

    Hilarious! He really did say “Delingate” .

  34. #34 TrueSceptic
    February 24, 2010

    20 Rastus,

    Wow! What a scoop! What a sleuth you are!

    (Is there anyone here who didn’t know that Gore is on Apple’s board?)

  35. #35 Stu
    February 24, 2010

    TS @ 34, no I didn’t know. But only because I don’t care what Al Gore does (except when making terrible algorithm puns).

  36. #36 Truesceptic
    February 24, 2010

    Just skimmed through the idiocy at Blot’s blog. It’s as if most of them were totally unaware of John Cook’s website, let alone how the App Store works.

    But even if Apple were behind it officially (they’re not), why would that be odd? They’re a tech company employing very bright people, not anti-science morons.

  37. #37 truesceptic
    February 24, 2010

    21 Neil,

    steve at (allegedly).

  38. #38 TrueSceptic
    February 24, 2010

    35 Stu,

    I’ll let you off. Perhaps I know because I’m an Apple user?

  39. #39 TrueSceptic
    February 24, 2010

    31 Hank,

    No. It’d be $20.00. Gotta test the Poe limits. πŸ˜‰

  40. #40 jody
    February 24, 2010

    It seems that with every passing day of reading on the latest developments in AGW — and the sheer insanity of the response from the deniers — my faith in Humanity falls just a bit more.







  41. #41 John
    February 24, 2010

    Of course Al Gore has to be dragged into this! It wouldn’t be a real conspiracy theory without him!

  42. #42 Mike
    February 24, 2010

    @23: The funny (?) thing is this Stu J:

    The coders will shortly be flooded with hundreds of FOI requests for the iphone application code, all their email records, their residential addresses over the last 10 years, and the names of any pets they might have.

    After getting the information, the denialists will be in a quandry as to what it all means, although the fact that one coder will be discovered to have a dog named “Al” will be taken as prima-facie evidence of left-wing political infiltration of the iphone application coding community.

    Denialists will then, unable to figure out what the code actually does, demand that the coders teach them how to use it, so that they can prove how flawed it is.

  43. #43 Lotharsson
    February 24, 2010

    …unable to figure out what the code actually does…

    Yeah, that lack of line numbers and GOTOs really throws them πŸ˜‰

  44. #44 joni
    February 24, 2010

    Watch it Lotharson… if code does not have goto’s it is not code!

    COBOL rules!

  45. #45 John
    February 24, 2010

    If the code is anything other than

    10 CLS
    20 COLOR 5
    40 GOTO 10

    they will have blown this scandal wide open.

  46. #46 Lotharsson
    February 24, 2010

    Did anyone note the hilarious element in Bolt’s headline?

    It’s an app intended to present information to those unconvinced on the science of global warming, and the headline is:

    iTunes presents warming for dummies

    Maybe Bolt is a double agent πŸ˜‰

  47. #47 Marion Delgado
    February 25, 2010

    Make Andrew Bolt pay the $100 license (for one computer) and get a computer with Snow Leopard. Then let him create all the endless views and controllers and connections in ObjectiveC/Cocoa in XTools for iPhones. I doubt Bolt knows what C practices are, so he’ll probably have to try several times to even get an app declared workable. Then have him document it and test it and so on.

    By the time his app is definitively accepted or rejected, it’ll be 2050, so we’ll have solved it or not before we hear from him again.

  48. #48 Marion Delgado
    February 25, 2010

    Oh, and Stu J wins the Internets.

  49. #49 Lotharsson
    February 25, 2010

    Marion accidentally spills the dirty little secret! Apple insists on controllers to impose their politically correct views, and then they have the gall in a paroxysm of propagandistic doubletalk to call it objective? No wonder there are no “skeptic” apps; even the software tools have a well known anti-skeptical bias!


  50. #50 Marion Delgado
    February 25, 2010

    Thanks Lotharsson – in the newspaper world where I work, we need all the laughs we can get nowadays.

    Lotharsson is in on the conspiracy – he knew the climate realists were already exposing the views and controllers – but the real strength of we elite UN climate czars is our powerful connections. oops.

  51. #51 Lotharsson
    February 25, 2010

    Marion, Marion, you have much to learn in the dark arts.

    When facts become undeniable, you reveal what can no longer be hidden, but in such a way as to direct attention away from what you wish to remain concealed. There’s a term of art for it.

    But now you’ve gone and told everyone about those powerful connections that I carefully avoided highlighting! What next? Letting the people know about user interface controls installed in every iPhone app, the iPhone kill pill used for erasing inconvenient data and apps, or the Trojan Horse strategy for extending UN Climate Command’s influence to every corner of the world called International Platform for Anthropogenic Domination?

    Er, …. oops.

  52. #52 Daniel J. Andrews
    February 25, 2010

    I’d like to see a ‘skeptical’ iPhone app.

    E.g. The earth has been cooling since 1998. The earth is warming, but it is the sun. The earth is warming, but it is from El Nino events and ocean heat. The earth hasn’t been warming. Temperature records have been fudged by climate scientists to show warming. Temperature records show the globe has been cooling since 1998….,

    and I think somewhere around there the iPhone hits a logic loop, and spontaneously bursts into flames.

  53. #53 Lotharsson
    February 25, 2010

    I’d like to see a ‘skeptical’ iPhone app.

    Woo-hoo, nice idea – dueling ‘skeptical’ apps! Maybe we should start making a whole bunch of them, each offering incompatible reasons and trashing the reasons provided by the others – and time how long before the different tribes of adherents start mercilessly flaming each other?!

  54. #54 barry
    February 25, 2010

    Tamino has crunched the numbers to test two major skeptical claims. This deserves a post and a link.

    Work done:

    Temperature time series using only raw data.

    Comparing drop-out time series with dropped out stations included.

  55. #55 Neil
    February 25, 2010

    “I’d like to see a ‘skeptical’ iPhone app.”

    *Phil Jones has apparently said this thing, so it must be false… Phil Jones has apparently said this other thing, so it must be true… Phil Jones has apparently said this thing, so it must be false… Phil Jones has apparently said this other thing, so it must be true… Phil Jones has apparently said this thing, so it must be false… Phil Jones has apparently said this other thing, so it must be true… *

  56. #56 Phila
    February 25, 2010

    The ideal skeptic app would be a talking Andrew Bolt doll with a string in its back. Pull it, and you get one of five responses: “It’s the sun, stupid! The climate has always changed! CO2 is plant food! Consensus is collusion! Socialism!”

    It’d be devastating to every argument a warmist could possibly make, and you wouldn’t even have to teach his angry geriatric readers to use an iPhone.

  57. #57 Marion Delgado
    February 25, 2010

    Steve Jobs gives to Democrats, but his views are pretty mainstream, quasi-libertarian – on economic issues, he’s decidedly to the right of the average American.

    About the only thing he doesn’t want to ideally leave up to the market is schooling – he figures guaranteed education means that people have less excuse for failing in the job world.

    Woz is probably closer to being “socialist” than Jobs ever dreamt of being – Jobs was a product designer (for HP) and marketer (for his own businesses) to begin with, recall.

    Al Gore, for that matter, has always been a vigorous defender of capitalism, especially to the environmental movement, and his “Reinventing Government” initiative as VP achieved more of the “Contract with America” than the GOP Congress – and certainly not always to the net benefit of the American people.

    What they call socialism is so revealing. I’d like to work at a company run by denialist trolls (not!).

    If you called another department for figures, they’d charge you $100 a word. If you pointed out that it was in their contract to tell you, they’d tell you to call their lawyer.

  58. #58 zoot
    February 25, 2010

    Wind up the Andrew Bolt Windup Doll and it interrupts you to demand you “let him finish”.

  59. #59 Climate Journal
    February 27, 2010

    There is a new Alex Jones / Infowars app available for the iPhone as well – so you can keep up on the latest conspiracy theories on the move.

  60. #60 Cousta Bo
    February 21, 2011

    If you liked it check out [Brain Map]( (for iPhone) – a 3D model of the brain, useful for learning how your brain works!

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