The Lew Paper 'a landmark of junk science' – McIntyre

McIntyre: “junk science”

Steve McIntyre (Climate Audit) conducts a detailed and thorough analysis of the Professor’s moon landing denier paper, which concludes thus:

Lewandowsky, like Gleick, probably fancies himself a hero of the Cause. But ironically, Lewandowsky’s paper will stand only as a landmark of junk science – fake results from faked responses.

As Tom Curtis observed, Lewandowsky has no moral alternative but to withdraw his paper.

Unless it is acceptable practise for scientists to knowingly allow falsehood to be published under their name, on hearing of a significant flaw in their paper, the paper must be re-written if there is time; withdrawn and re-written if there is not time for a rewrite before going to press; or have a correction published if it has gone to press. Because these are minimal standards of proper conduct, suggesting that an as yet unprinted paper be re-written or withdrawn is no more offensive than suggesting that it contains major flaws. The only way my suggestions can be considered offensive is if it is insulting to suggest major flaws in somebodies paper. Such an ettiquette is, however, entirely inconsistent with the vigourous review that is the sin qua non of science. Such an ettiquette may have grown up among scientists by custom; but in that event it is irrational and I will not pander to it.”

Curtis did not allege “fraud or other scientific wrong doing” on Lewandowsky’s part. According to Curtis:

At most Lewandowsky has been too casual in screening for gamed responses; and slightly over interpreted the results. That represents a major flaw in the paper (if I am correct); but has no implications whatever about Lewandowsky’s integrity as a scientist. IMO, Lewandowsky’s choice of a title is, and should be, far more damaging to his reputation as a scientist than the other flaws (IMO) in his paper.

We’ll soon see whether Lewandowsky’s allegiance to the Cause and to his own self-importance is greater than his commitment to science. If Lewandowsky ignores Curtis’ call to withdraw the paper and, despite knowing of important flaws, proceeds to, in Curtis’ words, “knowingly allow falsehood to be published under [his] name”, it will also provide an interesting test of the relative strength of Curtis’ allegiance to the Cause relative to his commitment to science.

Read it here.


  1. I don’t think Lewandowsky should withdraw his paper … it should stand as a testament to junk science. In the decades ahead we can look back and say, “That’s what happens when you mix science with politics!”

  2. Big Tick (√) to Steve, Josh and Simon!

    Anthony Cox has exposed some of the previous errors in Lewandosky’s logic here ~

  3. mike williams says:

    I love Lewandowsky. 🙂
    I often thought he was a climate realist in disguise..and was pretending to be a $CAGW$ supporter.
    And making them look insane.
    His writing is beyond parody..
    Gleick,Flannery, Lewandowsky..
    These guys are the best thing that have happened to us sceptics in years.. 🙂

  4. Was it ‘peer reviewed’? By whom? [snip]

  5. Fortunately….thanks to Professor Loo’s warning….i was able to stop reading “skeptic posts” and “skeptic comments” just prior to my IQ plunging to zero. The warning for humanity is that an irrational hypothesis CAN be supported with bogus methods and fictional evidence. Unfortunately….the inmates are in charge of the asylum.

  6. Your claim that, “As Tom Curtis observed, Lewandowsky has no moral alternative but to withdraw his paper” is an over interpretation of my words. It is very obvious that Lewandowsky has the very moral option of simply disagreeing with my analysis. If he disagreed, then he would be acting immorally if he did rewrite, withdraw or retract.

    This is a distinction you should easily be able to make. If you cannot, you are committed to the belief that every climate change “skeptic” with whom I disagree and who does not rewrite, withdraw or retract is acting immorally – a view to which I certainly do not hold.

    [REPLY – I did not make the claim. It was reposted from Steve McIntyre’s blog]

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