There are so many people commenting at WUWT, I seldom if ever write anything here about it.
After all this is a blog for turning otherwise-unturned stones so little appears that has been already dealt by others.
However, my fifteen readers know I cannot tolerate bullying. And in the case of Laden’s filthy anti-WUWT post, echoed in other places such as unwittingly-self-proclaimed climate loser Romm, it’s been a clear case of bullying.
All details of the story here and here. Basically Laden has tried to manipulate his readership by showing a screenshot of the WUWT site cut exactly in the only way that could put the site, and Anthony Watts, in a bad light.
Laden has retorted to the obvious by puerile statements such as
[Watts] is upset because in a screen shot of him talking about a totally absurd pseudo-scientific claim that should have been rejected out of hand, I failed to include enough of the post to show that he was skeptical about the claim [...]
I did not need to show that Anthony Watts was skeptical because that wasn’t the point. The point was that it was funny that he was looking at this claim at all. But, fine, if he really needs me to include the snippet where he expresses his laughable skepticism, I can do that. Here, Watts says.
This looks to be a huge story, the first evidence of extraterrestrial life, if it holds up.
… thus indicating skepticism. I’m sorry I did not include that sentence in the … wait, wait, hold on a sec. Hey, I DID include that phase about “if it holds up” in the original post? But Watts is saying that I did not include any of his skeptical language.
However, Laden being disingenuous, a liar or a stupid ignoramus is demonstrated by a simple observation.
The expression “if it holds up” doesn’t indicate skepticism. Nobody who reports astrology, homeopathy or UFO sightings indicates skepticism by saying “if it holds up“.
OTOH everybody who has learned skepticism from the likes of Randi, Shermer, Sagan (and Plait) knows that skepticism means saying “extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence” or an equivalent statement.
That is exactly what appears in WUWT a single line below the curiously cut screenshot by Laden.
I [Watts] would remind readers that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence“. This needs to be confirmed by others in the science community before it can be taken seriously.
IOW as Laden must have known (unless he truly knows nothing of Randi, Sagan and the others), inclusion of a few inches more would have invalidated his argument completely.
I rest my case.
ps to the enlightened souls proclaiming that the “Meteorite with life” story should not have been published in the first place, see how it has been picked up by MSN. You can also check at the BA blog that the story reached Plait presumably independently from WUWT.
pps IMNSHO the “Meteorite with life” story is complete bunk and the only sin committed by Watts (and Willis Eschenbach) has been their unfamiliarity with Fred Hoyle student N. C. Wickramasinghe. His name is well-known among astronomy buffs and not as a source of likely-true findings.
UPDATE ppps Wickramasinghe’s dreams picked up also by The Huffington Post (look down and hard before Plait and any skepticism show up in that article).