Steve McIntyre has some perspective on the "high school" nature of climate science that is worth repeating:You don't even have to understand the science to recognize the psychology here -- an admission that, since he hasn't been able to compete at that level, his only option it to insult those who can and are.
It seems to me that most famous "amateurs" from the past were highly professional in their field. Nor do I find invocation of their stories very relevant since the sociology of the science enterprise has changed so much.
In my opinion, most climate scientists on the Team would have been high school teachers in an earlier generation – if they were lucky. Many/most of them have degrees from minor universities. It's much easier to picture people like Briffa or Jones as high school teachers than as Oxford dons of a generation ago. Or as minor officials in a municipal government.
Allusions to famous past amateurs over-inflates the rather small accomplishments of present critics, including myself. A better perspective is the complete mediocrity of the Team makes their work vulnerable to examination by the merely competent.
- Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit Aug 1, 2013 at 2:44 PM
It's just a gutterish, classless thing to say. Sad.
Perhaps the PAGES2k results were the last nail, but it seems McIntyre's sees that his time has ended, and he's decided to go out ugly. For shame.
It seems skeptics will never learn that there is one way, and only one way, to prevail on the topic of climate change: produce superior science. Superior ideas have never failed to win the scientific debate, ever, no matter what the area of science. That is one of the great things about science, that separates it from philosophy or religion or literature, and the reason it has so powerfully changed the world in the last 400 years -- after all the debate and experiments and whining and insinuations and petty insults, the ideas that best explain the world prevail, until a scientifically better one comes along.
And no, comparing your scientific opponents to high school teachers is not that better idea.