Within the limits of my own study, the idea of “data density” and its relation to science vs. pseudo-science, is not one that I recall having encountered. (And I freely admit that my studies are limited; the world is large, and human life is short.) I suspect that no small part of the problem is that we have only begun to slam into this wall in earnest in the last few generations. I wish to use this idea of “data density” here to compare two branches of scientific study. It is my thesis that the data in gravitational cosmology is especially “thin” and “patchy,” which makes the general lack of attention to alternative models to the standard one especially inexcusable.
The recent publication in the peer-reviewed scientific literature of research showing that 97% of Climate Scientists are convinced that, not only is global warming very real, but the principal forcings in global warming are anthropogenic in nature has created quite a stir amongst the denialists. Multiple independent lines of research have shown that the 97% figure is quite robust; the scientific data may be explored in detail at the authors’ of the original research own website, The Consensus Project. On the other hand, thorough-going debunkings of the attempts to dispute the 97% claim may be found HERE and HERE. More general discussions by actual Climate Scientists (not just John Conway) can be found HERE.
My purpose here is somewhat different. In yet another sad attempt to dispute the real science behind the 97% consensus, one now sees the “Oregon Petition” once again being trotted out by denialists. This petition purports to show some 30,000+ “scientists” who dispute the scientific findings relating to AGW and the 97% consensus regarding those findings. What I wish to show here is how trivially easy it is to refute the Oregon Petition without making any appeals to a refined understanding of climate science or legitimate statistical techniques. All one really needs is a basic grasp as to the nature of science, and a casual grasp of the precepts of critical thinking.