Too stupid even for WUWT, eventually

An interesting little saga. WUWT had a post up as An interesting issue with ice core data. That’s a link to the webcitation, beacuse as of now the post has been removed from WUWT, on the grounds that it was utter drivel. Which is correct – it was. Pretty well the whole thing was error, but for outstanding stupidity it doesn’t get much better than:

Prior to the Little Ice Age, most of the areas where today’s core samples are taken, were not covered with ice. The ice that scientists have stated is hundreds of thousands of years old can be no more than a maximum of 650 years in age…

[Even the commas are wrong.] Any number of commenters point out this is trash, in words such as:

The ice domes of Greenland are only 650 years old!? I can’t believe you published something this silly, Anthony

To which the only response is “why are you surprised?” My best guess is that AW was trying to “do a Curry” – put up something that was basically denialist junk, but just call it “an interesting issue” and so duck any flak. Unfortunately AW is stupider than Curry and is incapable of evaluating the validity or plausibility of text (and writing the word “text” there makes me wonder if this wasn’t a Sokal-type hoax: people deliberately sending AW drivel in the hope he’ll post it. Might be a fun game).

ps: I think the source of the drivel might be holodiscustechnical.com/.

[Update: poking around in the entrails of WUWT is a cheap way of generating posts, but I’ll try to avoid doing it too often. R sends me a more complete version of the post, just before it was declared too embarassing to be allowed to live. AW had added:

I don’t disagree with Richard Telford, Mike Ossander, Don Easterbrook and others who have pointed out issues with this essay. There is value though in calling out such issues. Most importantly, the participants and readers in the discussion get to see why the claim made is wrong.

Science gives us the freedom to be wrong, because otherwise, we’d never learn anything. Clearly this article is wrong in many assertions.

For my part, last night I only got to read and check the first part of the submission about plasiticty, and then I got distracted at home with family issues. The post had been set to autopublish overnight, and I didn’t get back to it, and simply forgot it was in the que. I apologize to readers for this oversight.

This lapse is probably a sign that I need a true vacation away from the duties of running WUWT, which has been ongoing almost daily since November 2006.

Would anyone want to volunteer to be editors to make that possible?

He’s wrong to say there is value in calling out these issues; that’s merely his excuse for unthink (which he eventually realises; if it was actually true, he wouldn’t have subsequently removed the post). Science, or science communication, doesn’t advance by writing up drivel. If you’re purporting to communicate with the public, you need to at least have a clue. Signal to noise is hard enough already. But the suggestion that he might throw in the towel is interesting. VV suggests WUWT readership is declining.]