My new column is up this week, and is a response to the July 2012 issue of Popular Science which includes a long, unbalanced attack on skeptics, without once addressing their scientific arguments.
I thought I knew what “science” was about: the crafting of hypotheses that could be tested and refined through observation via studies that were challenged and replicated by the broader community until the hypothesis is generally accepted or rejected by the broader community.
But apparently “popular science” works differently, if the July 2012 article by Tom Clynes in the periodical of that name is any guide [I will link the article when it is online]. In an article called “the Battle,” Clynes serves up an amazing skewering of skeptics that the most extreme environmental group might have blushed at publishing. After reading this article, it seems that “popular science” consists mainly of initiating a sufficient number of ad hominem attacks against those with whom one disagrees such that one is no longer required to even answer their scientific criticisms.
The article is a sort of hall-of-fame of every ad hominem attack made on skeptics – tobacco lawyers, Holocaust Deniers, the Flat Earth Society, oil company funding, and the Koch Brothers all make an appearance.
Thousands of words about critical issues like Heartland Institute's funding, but less than two dozen dedicated to dismissing skeptic's scientific concerns. And that is before we get to outright journalistic fraud, as the author attempts, for example, to lay blame for Obama Administration financial audits of climate scientists on, you guessed it, skeptics. Read it all