2010-08-24 11:39:13NEW FEATURE: You can now rebut skeptic arguments that don't yet have any rebuttal
John Cook


I wasn't originally planning to introduce this feature so soon but one of the authors is champing at the bit to write a new rebuttal (coughjohnrussellcough). So I've added a new feature that lets you add a new rebuttal to skeptic arguments that haven't yet received any rebuttals on Skeptical Science. So if there's a skeptic argument kicking around that you'd like to have a go at, you don't have to wait - go to the Add New Rebuttal form and it will automatically add it to the list of arguments as well as add you as the 'claimant'. Then start a new thread with your rebuttal and we'll go through the normal peer-review process.

One of the reasons why the comments threads at Skeptical Science are so high quality are because we have rebuttals to all the most popular zombie arguments so we don't have to keep retreading old ground. So when a skeptic comes along and posts an old zombie argument, the moderators can simply say "this is discussed at [link]" and delete any subsequent off-topic comments. Keeps the discussion on-topic and constructive.

The only problem is that strategy doesn't work if we haven't written a rebuttal yet. So one rebuttal that I'd like to see rebutted would be the "450 peer-reviewed papers are skeptical about global warming", originated by Poptech who often comments on our site, linking to his original blog post. So for example, once we've written a rebuttal to that argument, when he drops by we can simply refer him to that page and keep the discussion focused in one area rather than pollute other discussions.

If you're going to write a rebuttal, it wouldn't hurt to quickly check the Global Warming Links page which has pro-AGW links on each skeptic argument. So this may provide useful resources for you when formulating your rebuttal.

2010-08-24 12:39:50Comment
Robert Way

That skeptic papers link is so annoying. I'd love to see a chart showing how many GRL, Science, Nature, Journal of Climate, International Journal of Climatology papers there are compared to Energy and Environment. Also i'd like to see someone count how many "comments on" and corrections are included. Finally I know that I was looking through some of the papers and found 5 or 6 out of the first 10 I looked at that supported AGW. I was pointed there once by a prof who was fuming that his paper had been included on the list when it was clearly AGW.
2010-08-24 13:14:59Poptech's peer-review list
John Cook


There have been a few blog posts rebutting Poptech's list. I have a list of online articles examining Poptech's list here:


So it would be great to hit this page once and for all. The challenge is how to do it. Poptech obviously goes with a brute force, quantity over quality approach. So it's impractical to examine every single paper on his list. What is the most effective way to rebut it? Pick a few examples, get quotes from the scientists who wrote them? Would be great if you could include a quote from that fuming prof if he was willing to go on the record.

Would be also good to see what Poptech has said in recent comments here too, to pre-empt his obvious objections. You can look up all his latest comments in Moderator Admin.

Anyway, if anyone wants to tackle this, perhaps even just get the ball rolling by starting a new thread and we could discuss the rebuttal in a collaborative manner.

2010-08-25 00:43:18On the paperlist
Ari Jokimäki


I think it's rather hilarious that 32,000 scientists (Oregon petition) only have managed to publish few hundred papers on the subject... ;)

By the way, with the amount of interested people here, I don't think it's so far fetched to actually go through the whole list at least to see what's the status of each paper (is there a debunking available/is debunking even needed/has it been published in peer reviewed journal/why the paper is in the list/...).