27 November, 2011

Prof. Phil Jones and Alice

From Through the Looking Glass of Post-Modern Science and What Alice Observed There:
“There’s consensus for you!”
“I don’t know what you mean by ‘consensus’,” Alice said.
Professor Jones smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you.  I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’”
“But ‘consensus’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.
“When I use a word (or write an e-mail),” Professor Jones said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.  Anything else is ‘out of context’, brought about, usually, by a conspiracy of evil, anti-science denialists—funded by Big Tobacco and Big Oil—who believe, stupidly, in bizarre conspiracy theories.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words and alleged statistical analyses mean only what you say they mean.”
“The question is,” said Professor Jones, “who is to be master of climate-science—that’s all.”

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