This post was based on the belief that the survey I took in June was the one used in the paper. I realize now this is not the case. The one I took at “Watching the Deniers” is a development of the 2010 survey. There are less questions on conspiracy theories (but “NASA faked the moon landing”, along with Diana, JFK and MLK assassinations are are still in) along with exactly the same questions on Free markets v Environmentalism. But the new survey has more on political beliefs (a good thing in my view) along with new sections on religious beliefs and GM foods. The summary I made back in June is here.
The paper Lewandowsky, Oberauer & Gignac – NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science (in press, Psychological Science) is one of the biased and pernicious surveys I have come across. The previous posting was on the opening remarks on the validity of climate science. There are a few points where the survey deviates from a professional and balanced opinion survey.
Problems with the survey
- The access to the survey. It was an internet based survey, with links posted on 8 “pro-science” blogs. Five skeptic blogs were approached. As such, one would expect that “pro-science” responses would far outweigh “denialist” responses. I cannot find the split.
- There should have been a record kept of abandoned survey results. The survey gets more dogmatic as it progresses, and becomes far longer than originally stated (74 questions, as against 40 in 10 minutes quoted at the outset). Moderate skeptics would have quickly abandoned the survey when they realised what was being inferred. Others, as the questions became more time consuming and “weird”. See if this is a valid conclusion by first reading the questions, then my analysis.
- Not reported is the relationship between “climate denial” and genetically modified foods. Is the correlation the reverse? Nor is there any reporting of the section on climate change against conservative Christian religious views, or climate change against views on corporations. The survey only reported the most dogmatic results. Could it be that there is something relevant, but adverse to the desired conclusions here, or no relationship?
- There were also final questions on age and gender. Again, this should be reported.
- The main inference of the survey is that those who oppose climate change science are nut-jobs, whilst those who agree with it are pro-science. This saves having to explain the lack of any credible scientific evidence for the projected global catastrophe that we all need to be saved from.