Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Journal of Scientific Exploration is a Dog

Some have been having trouble posting at Rabett Run, so Eli is willing to act as a relay service. John Mashey writes [and Eli Stoats]:
The Journal of Scientific Exploration IS NO PARODY [Would be to God it was]

HWQDAJ (He Who Quotes from a Dog Astrology Journal (well, He Who Must Not Be Named is on the screens again) would never quote a parody for crucial support for his book, would he? [Wanna bet John]

JSE is absolutely serious, containing much work with carefully-done charts, formulae, statistics. [Must have gotten one of them from the Wegman group. Eli understands they may be looking for work] It is not the Journal of Irreproducible Results.

Here are the past research articles from JSE. All issues are freely available, except the last 4, which you can see if you join. [A subscription to the Cartoon Network costs less] Otherwise, you need to wait a year until you can read Ishida's analysis of Hollander's sheep death weight gains, "An automated test for telepathy in connection with emails" or "A brief history of abduction research." [Eli will wait]

To be fair, one must of course sample, as I do occasionally whenever I need a break. Since this started with HWQDAJ's use of Deming as a reliable source, I thought I would search for "Deming" and use that issue a fair sample. Deming was a moderately-frequent contributor in 2004-2005, with a burst of 3 articles, of which the first two are discussed here.

18:2 Can A Single Bubble Sink a Ship? 2004.

A: Probably not. Deming is debunking a probably-wrong idea connected to methane, about which he would actually have knowledge. But meanwhile, we are treated to:

"The first popular expositor of anomalies was Charles Fort (1874-1932). Fort's seminal publication, The Book of the Damned, was first published in 1919. The title refers to those phenomena that science has damned by virtue of their failure to fit into predetermined modes of thinking and understanding the world. Properly understood, Fort was a forerunner to Thomas Kuhn (1922-1996)."

"Kuhn (1996) argued that anomalies are the source of all scientific breakthroughs: Discovery commences with the awareness of anomaly . . . (p. 52) Unfortunately, very little of Kuhn's message has penetrated into the witless technicians who pass today for scientists."

OK, got that, although I suspect Kuhn might not have been pleased to be compared to Fort.

18:4 The Hum: An Anomalous Sound Heard Around the World.

A: Maybe some people hear electromagnetic radiation. I have no expertise in this topic so cannot comment.

But below I will examine others that I have studied more.

19:2 This is the issue HWQDAJ relied on, worth investigating as a fair sample.

1. Balls of Light: The Questionable Science of Crop Circles

This is a straightforward, competent debunk of papers claiming electromagnetic influences on crop circles, by members of the Italian equivalent of CSI(COP). OK.

2. Children of Myanmar Who Behave like Japanese Soldiers: A Possible Third
Element in Personality

One author is affiliated with: Division of Personality Studies, Department of Psychiatric Medicine University of Virginia Health System, possibly a source of comfort to those in VA.

"Abstract-Among more than 750 cases of persons in Myanmar (formerly Burma) who as children claimed to remember a previous life, 24 said they had been Japanese soldiers killed in Burma during World War 11. Unlike most Burmese subjects of such cases none of these children stated any personal names or addresses that might have permitted verification of their statements. However, they showed habits of dress, food preferences, industriousness,
insensitivity to pain, and other behaviors unusual in Burma, but typical of Japanese people, especially Japanese soldiers during their occupation of Myanmar ."

"The word reincarnation is applicable here, although this term is difficult to define in behavioral terms."

3. Challenging the Paradigm

This is by Bruce S.
, famous UFOlogist.

"Abstract-During the last 30 years I have made several attempts to publish UFO-related articles in conventional science journals. Most of my papers or letters have been rejected. However, quite by luck, in my opinion, I was able to publish two short articles concerning the New Zealand sightings of December 1978 in the journal Applied Optics. This paper presents the story behind the publications."

Paradigm-ridden editors like those at Nature have refused for 30 years to recognize his work. He recounts his one success and remains hopeful.

4. The PEAR Proposition

This is from the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab (PEAR)

PEAR Future notes that "members of the PEAR staff have served as officers or councilors of the Society for Scientific Exploration (SSE). It also publishes the archival peer-reviewed Journal of Scientific Exploration."

(O ye of little faith, the PEAR guys say JSE is pear-reviewed. SO THERE.) After spending $Ms and ~30 years in search of human ability to influence the real world, PEAR finally shut down, the key people having declared victory and gone home. This 50-page article extols its methods and achievements (which involve doing vast numbers of experiments and interpreting minuscule statistical noise as important signal) and laments its passing, a reaction opposite to those of many at Princeton.

Finally, we come to Deming's key work, quoted by HWQDAJ, although to be fair it was also heavily cited by McKitrick and then McIntyre & McKitrick in 2005. Possibly there is a connection. Search for Deming in Strange Science in the Wegman Report.

5. Global Warming, the Politicization of Science, and Michael Crichton's State of Fear

"Abstract-Michael Crichton's book State of Fear addresses the politicization of science, in particular the topics of climate change and global warming, through the vehicle of a novel. In the author's opinion, Crichton is correct: the field of climate research has become highly politicized. An example is provided by the revisionist efforts of some researchers to extinguish the existence of a Medieval Warm Period. The politicization of science is a threat to the process of free inquiry necessary for human progress."

"Michael Crichton's State of Fear is an exciting and well-written fictional thriller. But the book is really about how we do science."

Ahh, I had not realized that last.

Well, there you have it. The PEAR people say JSE is peer-reviewed. I am not sure how item #1 was allowed in, but I guess, if you are going to do good debunks of crop circle fantasies, not many journals are available. Otherwise, in one issue we have 2.reincarnation, 3.UFOs, 4. ESP research and 4. Deming.


[They are not necessary, but the question remains, who he?] -Eli


Anonymous said...

Forthcoming articles include "A brief history of abduction research" (???)

I recall a daytime reality television show, decades ago, that featured a testimonial from someone who claimed that he had been abducted by aliens on flying saucers MANY TIMES. At the bottom of the television screen, they flashed the man's name, and his occupation: "UFO FREQUENT FLYER".

Such is the humble building block, upon which the mighty scientific edifice is built, ultimately to be summarized in a highly prestigious (and peer reviewed!!) archival journal like the JSE.

A dog: man's best friend.
A dog astrology journal: a crank's best friend.

Dan Satterfield said...

Front cover of every issue is 5 cans of beer...

John Mashey said...

Note, this got disconnected from the thread that started it, The Wayforward Machine.

If you are confused with HWQDAJ, that's in reference to the author of The Hockey Stick Illusion.

John Mashey said...

Eli, you sly bunny.
You snuck in a dandy word-play with a 1-character change.

John Mashey said...

BTW, there is also strange connection, not just with teh Hokcey Stick Illusion, but with the Wegman Report.

Specifically, SSWR showed the many influences of McIntyre&McKitrick(2005) (MM05X in SSWR) in the Wegman report, i.e., the red-coded Memes are found there.

MM05x cites Deming's quote (p.6), although he is misnamed, and somehow JSE (the dog astrology journal) got changed to a more credible one, i.e., Science. Apparently Wegman & co never checked that out.

HWQDAJ more likely got this from an earlier version of that, McKitrick (2005), which at least cited JSE correctly. Somehow that got changed in the weeks between.

EliRabett said...


Marion Delgado said...

There is a great strength of character hidden beneath the silky coat of the Scorpio Dog. On the outside, it will be necessary to watch out for the tail, which is capable of expressing much more feeling that that of any other canine. The Scorpio Dog will be a formidable dog to live up to, since this canine considers himself or herself to be the perfect dog. The life of the Scorpio Dog has but one purpose...self-mastery, which will occupy this canine as long as he or she lives. Sadly, few if any manage to achieve such perfection, often leaving the Scorpio Dog with a personality which is as difficult for the dog to understand as it is for his or her owner.

willard said...

Handmade trackback:

I've taken the liberty to name Mash's network analysis **An anatomy of a Short CA Post**

Eli's post is [16], btw.