Lewandowsky and the paleoparticipant
Jan 6, 2015
Bishop Hill in Climate: Sceptics, Greens

José Duarte has been taking a look at another paper by Stephan Lewandowsky and, hard though it is to believe, it's almost as bad as his previous ones. The study is apparently a survey of a sample of the US population and purports to show that conservatives have a propensity to reject climate science.

José's post is unmissable, but here's a flavour of the thing:

A much more serious problem, however, is that there is fake data in the PLOS ONE sample. Most consequentially, there is a 35,757-year-old, a veritable paleo-participant. (Data here.)

There are also seven minors, including a 5-year-old and two 14-year-olds.

This would be a serious problem in any context. We cannot have minors or paleo-participants in our data, in the data we use for analyses, claims, and journal articles. It's even more serious given that the authors analyzed the age variable, and reported its effects. They state in their paper:

--- "Age turned out not to correlate with any of the indicator variables."

This is grossly false. It can only be made true if we include the fake data. If we remove the fake data, especially the 32,757-year-old, age correlates with most of their variables. It correlates with six of their nine conspiracy items, and with their "conspiracist ideation" combined index. It also correlates with views of vaccines – a major variable in their study.

At this rate Paul Nurse will be making him a fellow of the Royal Society.

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