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« Making mileage | Main | The missing secondee »

Cult science - Josh 244

Steve McIntyre has a hilarious post about Lewandowsky and Mann drawing conclusions from of a sample size of zero. So I drew my own conclusions. 

Steve writes:

Mann rose to prominence by supposedly being able to detect “faint” signals using “advanced” statistical methods. Lewandowsky has taken this to a new level: using lew-statistics, lew-scientists can deduce properties of population with no members. Josh summarizes the zen of lew-statistics as follows:

There are lots of interesting posts on this: Steve's at Climate Audit, Judy Curry, Matt Briggs, Warren Pearce, WUWT and related posts by Lucia and Ben Pile.

On a different topic but worth mentioning, if you want to donate to the Phillipine Red Cross then you can do so here. Click the dropdown which is named Supertyphoon Yolanda (HAIYAN) and click the amount. 5000 Philippine Pesos (PHP) is about £70. H/t Anthony Watts

Cartoons by Josh

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Reader Comments (12)

So, $100+ billion spent by would be World saviours Gore, Obama, Blair, Rudd, Gillard, Pachauri etc. etc.

And it's all come to nought!

Nov 11, 2013 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

I can't see the cartoon. Does that mean Lew and Mann have ascended to the next level and disappeared up their own... statistics?

The comments on the cartoon at Steve M's web site are almost as good as Josh's original jokes.

Nov 11, 2013 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

This is the best Josh work to date. Too funny for a science blog but when you get such good material how can you resist.

Nov 11, 2013 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark W

I see Paul Simons (The Times Weather Eye) is still claiming 235Mph gust for Typhoon Haiyan and then banging the AGW drum.

Yet the Phillipines own Met Agency ( are saying that So at landfall the sustained wind was 235 kmh or 147 mph, with gusts upto 275 kmh or 171 mph.

can't the Met Office even distinguish between MPH and KPH now?

What a bunch of losers- who will call them on this?

Nov 11, 2013 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

arf, arf

shame you can't embed audio on the cartoon - ommm-mm-mm .......... ding

Nov 11, 2013 at 1:13 PM | Registered Commentertomo

And this dynamic duo proceed to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that they have, indeed, "reached the level where [they] need no data" [h/t Judith Curry]:

Subterranean War: Some Reasonable Questions and Answers
This week’s typhoon that is now estimated to have killed 10,000 people in the Philippines might have occurred in the absence of climate change, although global warming likely put it on steroids.

Thank goodness these "climate scientists" are so "reticent ... [and] conservative", eh?!

P.S. This is another fabulous cartoon, Josh :-)

Nov 11, 2013 at 3:27 PM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov


235 mph or 147?

Quite a difference, especially as the power of wind is proportional to the cube of its speed. A 147mph wind is bad enough, but 235mph (which I doubt has been seen outside of a tornado and would rip off any measuring gear) would cause 4 times as much damage. At least, it would if there was anything left to blow away.

Nov 11, 2013 at 3:27 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Zen question:

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

At least the Zen masters have a sense of humour.

Or perhaps, rather, it's the Lewmannoozlum bird in action:

Nov 11, 2013 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterAllan M

I love these Mann cartoons, you just know his students are going to leave printouts around. I can't imagine how that feels for someone so pompous.

Nov 11, 2013 at 7:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterjaffa

"Does that mean Lew and Mann have ascended to the next level and disappeared up their own... statistics?"

That is known as attaining the state of rirvana, is it not?

Nov 11, 2013 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

I'm sure that Mann and Lew would like this as a Christmas (or 'Seasonal') card.

Nov 11, 2013 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaroline K

For some reason, Kenneth Williams has sprung to mind, in an edition of Round the Horne, claiming "I'm a cult!". And here we have two of them.. :-)

Nov 12, 2013 at 8:47 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

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