Archive for November 14th, 2009


Despite seven months of intense effort to recruit physicists to sign a politically motivated petition disputing anthropogenic climate change, a mere, 0.45% of the American Physical Society‘s 47,000 members signed on.

It’s a humiliating defeat for the climate change Deniers who make such false claims as ”many scientists dispute’ and ‘there is no consensus. The Petition drive was announced in the prestigous journal Nature, APS publications, numerous popular and electronic media, as well as heavily promoted by the petition organizers. Despite all of that effort and publicity, a mere 0.45% was all that they could manage.

Consider that the success rate for Nigerian email scams is estimated to be 0.1% to 0.2%, ie roughly speaking about the same. (Tip of the Hat to Grumbine for the genesis of seeking a comparison)



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Monk Debate 8BPSDB Of course most people will recognize this phony argument  (logical fallacy) in it’s more popular form “have you stopped beating your wife?

In this verbal trap, if you answer ‘Yes‘ you are admitting to having beaten your wife before, and if you answer ‘No‘ you are admitting that you still beat her.

The climate change Deniers love to use logical fallacies, and this one is the Loaded Question. It is “loaded” because if you answer it in the way that it is posed, you lose no matter how you answer it.  In this example the question is ‘loaded’ with the assumption that you were beating your wife before, and there is no way to answer the question as asked without accepting that premise.

With respect to climate change science the loaded question comes packaged in various forms of “the debate is not over” canard, but really they all boil down to the same ‘Loaded Question’ logical fallacy.


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