Search This Blog

Saturday, August 31, 2013

THE CLIMATE IS COOLING and the warming alarmists are liars and cons. A bit of history

Back in 2007, Anthony Watts had an idea.  He was interested in the weather reporting stations and decided it would be interesting to audit them.  Here is some background information to begin to bring you up to speed on the climate question.  There is a great deal more to say on the issue but this is a good start.  Yes, people it for yourself!

1)  My summer project – a national weather station audit

You may remember a couple of weeks ago I got sideswiped by Ms, Sherri Quammen, who in a letter to the editor called me a “weapon of mass destruction” because I’m actively involved in climate change issues locally. While funny, it did give me the impetus (aka kick in the pants) I needed to get very busy and serious about a project I had been contemplating for some time:

A national repository of weather station site surveys.

ZZZZ Snore, ho hum you say? I’d normally agree, as the subject matter is the stuff of sleep inducers. But there’s a hitch. It seems that the folks at the top of the food chain in climate research didn’t do their homework at the base level, and didn’t bother to do a quality control check on the many weather stations used in the climate records and the computer models used to predict our climate future.

I remember a talk in the spring where Jim Price of CSU had to interrupt (at the behest of a couple of folks that felt a comment about the sun’s role in climate change studies was being ignored was “biased”) the Chico observatory series, Cosmic Hike to give us all a tongue lashing on why Global Warming is “good science”. I asked him a question in front of everybody about how well biases in measurements at weather stations had been accounted for (Jim’s on the IPCC committee) and he said that they had been “carefully accounted for and considered”. I didn’t believe him then, even less now.

Ok back to my summer project. Thanks to Quammen’s inspiration, I got busy putting together a website called for the purpose of doing a nationwide, and hopefully a worldwide audit on the viability of the weather stations used in climate research.

To seed the effort, I’ve been driving around Northern California photographing and logging weather stations, and blogger Russ Steele from Grass Valley has been helping do surveys too. You’ve seen some of them in my blog posts titled: How not to measure temperature.

Some, like Marysville, are just unbelievably badly biased, and to be blunt, the data they produce is simply useless. Yet, they are part of our “official” climate temperature record, and the data is in fact used in the computer models.

So Monday, I go live with the website showcasing some of the US Historical Climate Record sites which is the major framework that global warming science is built upon.

The reaction was immediate and visceral in the science blogosphere. I’d hit a nerve. Some posters called for my “removal”, not knowing that I’m not funded by grants, nor employed by a government agency. I’m funding all this myself, out of my own pocket. I had to chuckle. Some called me an amateur, others said I would taint the outcome, some just ranted (I think maybe Tasker joined in). Many questioned why such an effort was needed at all. The reaction to taking photographs of weather stations to document their conditions raised a stink I never could have predicted. Why? How can something so simple raise so many hackles? Aren’t many climate scientists saying “case closed” and “no more debate”? How could a few pictures threaten this established science?

Well here’s why: Lets use the weather station in Willows at the Tehama Colusa Canal Authority as an example. Its a lights=0 station. A what? Lights=0 means it has no lights around it. Ok so what does that have to do with climate change and temperature measurement? Well, it turns out that Dr. James Hansen of NASA, in creating his USHCN database didn’t actually visit the weather stations to see if they were working well and bias free, but rather conducted an armchair survey where he used nighttime Department of Defense satellite photos to evaluate the potential heat bias from growth around the stations. He figured counting streetlights in a radius would be a good indicator. For stations like Willows, out at the end of Hwy162, yes it works. It also works for out of the way stations like Lake Spaulding, except that the armchair light counting survey didn’t catch the fact the temperature sensor is parked over an aluminum boat next to a building, on a steel tower over a rocky surface. How hot could that be? I presume the boat is there for a fast getaway in case of catastrophic sea level rise.

But this armchair survey didn’t catch things like air conditioners blowing hot exhaust air on sensors, or the Marysville Fire Department parking their vehicles within 6 feet of the sensor, or the fact that Tahoe City had a new tennis court put up 25 feet away and a trash burn barrel located next to the station. And when the really embarrassingly bad weather stations Russ and I documented started showing up, the pro warming folks had to do something because it challenged the very data itself.

The site has been up two days now, and I’m getting hundreds of registrations across the country from people wanting to get involved in the grass roots effort to photograph, measure, catalog and contribute to the database of weather stations. I’m getting inquires from Congress, Policy think tanks, and bloggers worldwide. I even had a mom who’s driving cross country with her daughter contact me to ask how she could participate.

BTW you can sign up to help, its free, easy, and fun too. Find the stations can be a bit of a puzzle, like GPS caching.

I’ve been invited to submit a research paper, and I’m having a lot of fun too. Now I know why I lost the school board election, it was to give me time to do this. Everything happens for a reason...


2)  NEWS Updated 11/04/2011 from Surface Stations

NEWS Updated 11/04/2011  After months of work, our paper has been accepted, read summaries on the paper at these locations:
Dr. Roger Pielke Senior's website here
Dr. John Neilsen-Gammon's website here
Anthony Watts website here
Media Resource - download PDF here
Link to the paper (final print quality), Fall et al 2011 here (updated)
Fall et all 2011 supplementary information here

Surfacestations project reaches 82.5% of the network surveyed. 1007 of 1221 stations have been examined in the USHCN network. The Google Earth map below shows current coverage. 
USHCN surveyed 7-14-09

Reference for site ratings: NOAA's Climate Reference Network Site Handbook Section 2.2.1
Sincere thanks to Gary Boden and Barry Wise for this contribution!
SurfaceStationsReportCoverMid term census report of the Surface Stations Project: Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable? - click cover image at left to download a PDF document. Now at 80%, and with a majority sample that is spatially well distributed, a full analysis will be coming in the next few months. We will however continue to survey stations in the hope of locating more CRN1 and CRN2 stations due to their rarity.
The upcoming papers will feature statistical analysis of the nationwide USHCN network in the context of siting.

Direct link to PDF of the report is here

Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, North Dakota, Idaho, South Dakota, Texas.
Excerpt graphics from the report are below:

Station quality ratings obtained from NOAA/NCDC via this source:
Climate Reference Network Rating Guide - adopted from NCDC Climate Reference Network Handbook, 2002,specifications for siting (section 2.2.1) of NOAA's new Climate Reference Network:Class 1 (CRN1)- Flat and horizontal ground surrounded by a clear surface with a slope below 1/3 (<19deg 100="" and="" area="" artificial="" as="" at="" away.="" bodies="" buildings="" centimeters="" concrete="" cover="" elevation="" except="" far="" from="" grass="" ground="" heating="" high.="" if="" is="" it="" large="" least="" located="" lots.="" low="" meters="" no="" of="" or="" parking="" reflecting="" representative="" sensors="" shading="" such="" sun="" surfaces="" the="" then="" vegetation="" water="" when="">3 degrees.

Class 2 (CRN2) - Same as Class 1 with the following differences. Surrounding Vegetation <25 30m.="" a="" artificial="" centimeters.="" elevation="" for="" heating="" no="" shading="" sources="" sun="" within="">5deg.

Class 3 (CRN3) (error >=1C) - Same as Class 2, except no artificial heating sources within 10 meters.

Class 4 (CRN4) (error >= 2C) - Artificial heating sources <10 br="" meters.="">
Class 5 (CRN5) (error >= 5C) - Temperature sensor located next to/above an artificial heating source, such a building, roof top, parking lot, or concrete surface."


Get Involved!help us document weather stations in the USA and the world.
Odd and irregular observing Sites looking at some of these observing sites you have to wonder: "what were they thinking"?
Resources links to useful and pertinent documents, images, drawings, specifications, and web sites.
Visit the blog to see highlighted examples of poorly sited stations in the "How Not to measure Temperature" series.

Site launched on 06/04/07
Progress as of 11/04/2011
USHCN Sites surveyed so far:
USHCN Sites rated so far:
USHCN Sites remaining:

"This is a very important need for the climate science community, and you are encouraged to obtain this photographic documentation if you can, and also share with the new website under development by Anthony Watts"
Roger Pielke Sr., University of Colorado, June 1st, 2007

Other news:
Florida Completed!
Nevada USHCN surveys completed
California USHCN surveys completed! See all California stations here
Louisiana has only three stations left, Franklin, Lafayette, and Plain Dealing Any takers?
A look at how changes in paint on Stevenson Screens may have affected temperature measurement.
Now Online: Conferencepresentation given at CIRES/UCAR on 8/29/07 describing this project and the methods used to assign station site quality ratings, along with examples of many site issues seen thus far. Click to view slideshow
Special recognition to five volunteers; Bob Thompson, Eric Gamberg, Russ Steele, David Smith, and Don Kostuch, who turned summer travels into survey expeditions. Don Kostuch has surveyed more stations, and covered a broader geographic area than any other surveyor. Thanks to all!

Here is a well maintained and well sited USHCN station:
Graph is from NASA GISS - see it full size
Click pictures for complete site surveys of these stations
Here is a not-so-well maintained or well sited USHCN station:

Graph is from NASA GISS - see it full size
This site in Marysville, CA has been around for about the same amount of time, but
has been encroached upon by growth in a most serious way by micro-site effects.

What you'll find here

  • Site surveys of USHCN, GHCN, CWO, and other weather station networks
  • Photographic views and sketches of instrumental sitings
  • Historical notes on each station when available
  • Survey notes about nearby objects, surfaces, and sensor placement
  • Supplemental notes and photographs when applicable
I actually love the odd sites link... 

Then there are the Darwinist geologists who KNOW that Uniformitarianism is a joke.  The sedimentary rock layers (this should have been obvious?) were formed catastrophically.   Can anyone say, "Flood?"  So (and I cannot make this stuff up) these geologists have termed their assumptions "Actualism!"    I had to laugh.   I mean, really, you are that bad off that you have to completely cover your arguments with bull manure?   This development will absolutely deserve it's own blogpost before long.   Let me show you a couple of actual weather stations being used by climate alarmists to try to make you think the Earth is in trouble and we need to help it. 

Forest Grove 


Now an addendum...From a blogpost in April of this year when winter was coming to an end and the global cooling was apparent.  Just as it has been for several years, as it happens!!!

Whenever there is a hurricane, an earthquake an unexpected snowstorm or unseasonable temperatures then out come the Global Climate Change alarmists.    But I can assure you that you should pay no more attention to them as you would to a salesman trying to sell you a sump pump for your attic!

First, notice they quit crying out "Global Warming?!"   Because the globe was not warming.   Sure, weather stations were reporting higher temperatures, but once we began to look as satellite readings and deep sea diving drones and collating the data, we discovered the dangerous man-made global warming was not happening!

The Roy Spencer Blog = First his 2,000 year temperature graph:

…and his home page is

Anthony Watts has a home page for climate news =   It is the world’s most viewed and awarded climate blog.  Anthony and other authors post on it regularly.

The audit of North American weather stations home page is here:  Audit page

Global warming alarmists have attacked this website continually so many of the pictures and reports are not available at all times.    An apparently orchestrated attempt to locate temperature sensing gauges in inappropriate locations was discovered as volunteers around the continent photographed and reported on local weather stations.   So they have a separate site with pictures of every audited weather station, good or bad, at the surface station database page:     

A few examples…Eastport, Maine has their weather sensor within two feet of an air conditioner exhaust.  Tahoe City has theirs next to the place the groundskeeper burns trash, near a big tennis court!   Presque Isle, Maine, has a rooftop sensor which means, of course,  it shows  very artificially high temperatures on warm and sunny days.    Urbana, Ohio not only has their weather station at a sewage treatment plant (tends to emit heat) but here is the full description:

- Sensor is attached to the building, just mere inches away from brickwork
- Sensor is near windows, which radiate heat from heated interior rooms in winter
- Sensor is directly above effluent grates for waste-water, Waste-water is often warmer than the air many months of the year
- Sensor is between three buildings, restricting wind flow
- Sensor is between three buildings, acting as a corner reflector for infrared
- Several exhaust fans near sensor, even though one is disable, there are two more on the walls (silver domes)
- Air conditioner within 35 feet of sensor, enclosed area will tend to trap the exhaust air near sensor
- Sensor is directly over concrete slab
- Refrigeration unit nearby, exhausts air into the enclosed area
- Shadows of all buildings create a valley effect related to sunlight at certain times
- There are two nearby digester pools, which release heat and humidity in the sensor vicinity
- Heat and humidity plume over the site from digesters is often tens of degrees warmer than the air in the wintertime

Here is the Santa Rosa weather station – on the asphalt roof of the Santa Rosa, California Press Democrat Davis building!!!   Talk about a heat sink?  The person looking for the weather station said this:  

“In traveling around California and Nevada to look at NOAA USHCN climate monitoring weather stations I've seen some odd things. I've seen temperature sensors near asphalt and concrete, sensors placed within feet of buildings and cars, sensors placed near air conditioner exhausts, and sensors that had barbeque grills in the vicinity.

Last Friday June 6th, I traveled to Santa Rosa, CA to the Press Democrat Newspaper, a wholly owned subsidiary of the New York Times, which according to NOAA, has the climate station of record for Santa Rosa.  But nothing prepared me for what I was about to find at the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

When I arrived, I couldn't locate the NOAA MMTS sensor anywhere around the building, but I did see a tower on the roof of the building, and in the rear of the building they had a Davis Vantage Pro2 weather station on a pole. I knew that wasn't the official climate temperature sensor provided by NOAA. So, after doing a perimeter search twice, I went inside to inquire within. Everything in the lobby said "go away". I guess it was the bullet proof glass, and the cameras, and the security guard. After getting a name of the person responsible for their weather page from the front desk, I called on my cell phone, no answer.

Undeterred, I decided to try looking outside again. It was then I noticed the 5 level parking garage about a block north.

From the top of the parking garage a quick scan with my binoculars located the NOAA MMTS temperature sensor. It was there, about 8-10 feet above the roof, surrounded by a sea of air conditioners and exhaust vents!

Here is what I saw from my binoculars:”  

So it is no big shock that this station, like many others in North America, began sending much higher temperatures after the Democrats took over politically and had control over the location of the weather station, eh?    

The really interesting thing about all this is that the National Weather Service had a habit of tossing out cooler reporting stations and “estimating them” while depending primarily on stations in cities, where they are so often located next to airport runways and on rooftops and in front of air conditioner exhausts or parking lots and so on and so forth.   When you include Michael Mann’s faked “Hockey Stick Graph” scandal and the leaked emails of IPCC and CRU officials agreeing to hide information so that global warming would appear to be a big problem, then remarkably enough one sees a conspiracy of all things!!!

The plan was for people like Al Gore and organizations like the UN to present faked information that would scare people into agreeing to limits on their energy use, radical changes in auto emissions standards, the eventual destruction of the coal industry and lots of government money going to “green energy” companies that were usually political cronies.    There was a Carbon Exchange set up in Chicago where companies would pay for the right to emit greenhouse gasses (to be able to operate) and supposedly Carbon Offset companies would plant trees to make up for the emissions.    However, in some cases they would clear third world forests and then plant new trees rather than allow the locals to use the cleared land for crops!   It was all a scheme to enrich guys like Al Gore, who has a massive primary home that uses so much energy it puts the lie to his so-called belief in global warming. 

Al Gore had four houses in 2010 and here is the front part of his primary residence:

Al Gore is like the guy who tells you scotch will kill you while sipping on a couple of fingers worth of Dewar's.  The UN and the IPCC and the CRU knew they were lying to you!!!











From the Nature abhors a vacuum department comes this note from RealScience showing that Arctic sea ice has made a stunning rebound since the record low recorded in the late summer of 2012.
With a few weeks of growth still to occur, the Arctic has blown away the previous record for ice gain this winter. This is only the third winter in history when more than 10 million km² of new ice has formed.

ScreenHunter_175 Feb. 12 10.35
Source data:

Of course, this is only a record for the satellite era data back to about 1980, and just like the much ballyhooed record low of 2012, we have no hard data to tell us if this has happened before or not.

Here’s the current Cryosphere Today plot, note the steep rebound right after the summer minimum, something also noted in 
Sea Ice News Volume 3 Number 14 – Arctic refreeze fastest ever:

seaice.recent.arctic[1]Source: Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois
The Arctic ocean is well filled with ice right now:
Source: Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois
In other news, the Antarctic seems to be continuing on its slow and steady rise, and is now approaching 450 days of uninterrupted above normal ice area according to this data:…which shows the last time the Antarctic sea ice was below normal was 2011.8932 or 11/22/2011.
This continued growth of ice in the Arctic Antarctic make the arguments for ice mass loss in Antarctica rather hard to believe, something also backed up by ICESAT data.

As always, you can see all the sea ice data at the WUWT Sea Ice Reference Page.

Darwinists or Nazis? - 1984 Personified, the Censorship and Lies and Back-stabbing Darwinists = Thought Police!!!

George Orwell's 1984 presented a world where the Thought Police would punish citizens for Thought far from that are we in the USA with the concept of Hate Crimes?  It is a crime or it isn' many love crimes do you think we can identify?

Anyway, the censorship and nastiness of the Nazis and the Soviets has not diappeared, it is alive and well in the world of Darwinism.  Evidence and observed science means little or nothing but the preservation of the Darwinist Mythology is of the utmost importance.  Evil is alive and well in the world of science...on the Darwin side... 

On the Origin of the Controversy Over Biological Information New Perspectives 

By Casey Luskin...August 19,2013

Available on Amazon now ... Published by World Scientific
Casey Luskin 
On the Origin of the Controversy Over Biological Information: New Perspectives - See more at:

In the spring of 2011, the "Biological Information: New Perspectives" symposium was held at Cornell University. (It wasn't sponsored by Cornell, though it did take place on the campus.) As I noted in my last article, scientists from a variety of perspectives, including ID-critics, representing many different scientific fields, were invited and attended the conference, presenting original research and arguments that challenged the ability of neo-Darwinian theory to explain the origin of new information. So how did many of the papers presented at the conference come to be included in theeponymous proceedings, now published by World Scientific? Why did Springer first agree to publish the proceedings, and then later illegally cancel the book's publication contract? What role was played by intolerant censors in the Darwin Lobby? There have been lots of false speculations from ID-critics on the Internet. Let's now talk about what really happened, with a rough chronology of the relevant events.

Fall of 2009: Springer Invites William Dembski to Submit a Book Proposal

In the fall of 2009, William Dembski was contacted by an editor at Springer inviting him to submit a book proposal. By all accounts, this Springer editor knew who Dembski was, knew of his affiliations with the ID movement, was aware of his work, and thought his work might fit well in a forthcoming series at Springer. To offer a couple snippets from the e-mail Dembski received, the editor said Dembski was "welcome" to submit a proposal for a book in their series, the Intelligent Systems Reference Library. Dembski replied, suggesting he had an idea for a monograph on the conservation of information, a topic he'd published peer-reviewed papers on right around that time.
 In October 2009, the editor answered: "I will welcome your monograph" because it would be an
"[e]xcellent fit in our series." So the interaction with Springer didn't start because Dembski reached out to them, but rather because Dembski was invited by an editor at Springer to submit a proposal.

December 2010: "Biological Information: New Perspectives Conference" Organizers Submit Book Proposal to Springer

Now at the time he was originally contacted by Springer (fall, 2009), Dembski was not even aware of the "Biological Information: New Perspectives" symposium. I'm not even sure if anyone had conceived of the conference at that point, which was almost two years before the conference would ultimately occur. But over the course of the following year, Dembski got in touch with the organizers of the conference, and they discussed their interest in ultimately publishing the papers that would be presented at the conference in book form.

By December 2010, six or seven months before the conference would take place, the organizers had a pool of speakers lined up, and had determined many talks and abstracts. On December 7, 2010, the organizers of the conference (hereafter called the "editors" or "authors") put together a book proposal based on the abstracts. They transmitted the document to Springer, proposing to publish the proceedings of the "Biological Information: New Perspectives" conference. Here's what Dembski's e-mail said:

Dear [Snip],
It's been over a year since we've been in touch. I hope this finds you well.
Back in September of last year you invited me to propose a volume to your ISRL series (see below). This spring (31 May to 3 June 2011) some of my colleagues are holding a symposium at Cornell University on new directions in biological information: "Biological Information -- New Perspectives." John Sanford, a biologist at Cornell, is hosting the event.
We have an interesting line-up to speakers and talks and would like to publish a proceedings volume. It seems that your ISRL might be the perfect venue. Please have a look at the attached prospectus (in identical Word and pdf versions) and let us know your interest.
If you think such a volume requires a larger or more diverse pool of speakers, we can accommodate you. Springer is our first choice and you are the first publisher we are approaching. Because the event is fast approaching, however, we will need to hear from you soon.
Best wishes,
Bill Dembski

In a moment I'll quote from the book proposal (what Dembski called a "prospectus") that Dembski attached to his email, but it's important to note that the book proposal he sent made it expressly clear that the book would include contributions that challenged neo-Darwinism, some of which explicitly supported intelligent design, and included contributions from leading advocates of "intelligent design." Thus, Dembski and the other editors made no attempt to hide the nature of the book, or the connections of some of its contributors to ID. I say this not because it would have been reasonable to expect any sort of subterfuge, but because there have been numerous baseless, false, and speculation-fueled conspiracy theories promulgated by ID-critics that somehow the editors of the volume tried to mislead Springer. It's important to show that this charge is false. We'll explore it in detail shortly.

Soon thereafter, Springer replied to Dembski stating that their conference has "an interesting line-up of speakers on the state-of-art." That same day, three Springer decision-makers were part of an e-mail to Dembski which tentatively accepted the book proposal. That reply to Dembski stated:

It is a timely and interesting topic and would add value to our Series. I am in favour of accepting this as an Edited book. Please offer a suitable book contract to Dr Bill Dembski.

At this time, Springer had enough information to fully understand the nature of the book. One Springer editor wrote in this exchange, "This is a great topic and William [Dembski] is certainly one of the best people in this field!" This is an implicit statement that they knew the book would cover ID: after all, what is Dembski's "field," if not intelligent design? Another e-mail after Dembski had submitted the book proposal even shows a Springer editor inviting him to a friendly lunch "in a restaurant at the Autobahn." It's signed, "With the best wishes and happy holidays to you and your family." Everyone seemed happy indeed.

In the subsequent weeks and months, Springer completed its review of the book proposal and fully accepted it, as seen from the fact that they offered a book contract to Dembski on January 11, 2011. That contract was then signed by both parties. (A revised contract with a few minor changes, dated March 23, 2011, was signed by the authors and Springer a few months later.)

Over the subsequent year, the conference took place, and the final papers were refined, reviewed, edited, and provided to Springer for publication in the book. All parties involved knew -- or had absolutely every reason to know -- exactly what the book was about, and there were no non-trivial complaints from any of the parties involved. On the contrary, all involved seemed perfectly pleased. Indeed, in November 2011, over 11 months after Dembski had transmitted the original book proposal, a Springer editor even discussed with Dembski the possibility of doing a second, similar volume on "evolutionary biology," which the Springer editor called "just perfect" for the series.

February 2012: Darwin Lobby Mounts a Campaign to Scuttle the Book

General happiness between Springer and the book's editors continued until the end of February 2012. At that time, the book was very close to final publication with Springer -- so close that Springer posted a page about the book on its website where the volume could be ordered online (see here for a screenshot). Amazon had also begun selling the book (see the Amazon screenshot), and listed the publication date as March 31, 2012.

In an attempt to distance themselves from the book, Springer later claimed the page on its own website was "auto-generated," but as will become clear soon, it's hard to believe anything they are saying about the situation. It would be even harder to believe that Amazon "auto-generated" a sales page about Springer's book. The exact details on this point are immaterial, because it seems that Springer was happy and eager to start selling copies of the Biological Information: New Perspectives proceedings as of late February, 2012.

Around this time, the ever-vigilant Darwin lobby apparently saw these pages and eventually passed notification along to Nick Matzke, a former staff member of the National Center for Science Education, and a core member of the team that got intelligent design banned in Dover science classrooms in the Kitzmiller trial.

At this point, Mr. Matzke had some choices to make. It's no secret he disagrees with intelligent design -- a viewpoint that he's fully entitled to hold, and one that I would defend his academic freedom to hold and express in academic settings. Two of his main choices were roughly as follows:
  • (A) Do nothing, because it's not his place to try to censor those he disagrees with, especially interfering when his opponents have a good-faith contract with a major book publisher, or
  • (B) Mount a public campaign to pressure, bully, and embarrass Springer into cancelling publication of the book.
Mr. Matzke went with option (B). Thus, on February 27, 2012, Matzke published a blog post at Panda's Thumb titled "Springer gets suckered by creationist pseudoscience," hoping to bully Springer into abandoning the book. He wrote:

The major publishers have enough problems at the moment (e.g. see the Elsevier boycott), it seems like the last thing they should be doing is frittering away their credibility even further by uncritically publishing creationist work and giving it a veneer of respectability. The mega-publishers are expensive, are making money off of largely government-funded work provided to them for free, and then the public doesn't even have access to it. The only thing they have going for them is quality control and credibility -- if they give that away to cranks, there is no reason at all to support them.

Matzke was essentially threatening Springer with economic extortion, insinuating that if the company didn't cancel the book contract with the editors of Biological Information: New Perspectives, it might face a boycott. In the scientific community, where survival depends on money, and money doesn't flow to those with a sullied reputation, those are fighting words.

Matzke was right that big science publishing companies (like Springer) face an uncertain future, with open-access journals challenging scientific publishers that still use traditional pay-per-view, for-profit, print-based business models. He knew how to hit Springer where it hurts -- in the pocketbook -- and apparently his post generated a lot of complaints to Springer from people who didn't want the company to publish a book with articles sympathetic to ID. For example, one of Matzke's Panda's Thumb followers, statistician Bob O'Harareported that "I've been in contact with one of the editors at Springer, so they're now certainly aware of the situation." Within a day or two, Springer had removed its page for Biological Information: New Perspectives from its website (see the screenshot). (Incidentally, Springer has forgotten to remove at least one page about the book, which still remains up as of August 19, 2013, the day this article was published -- here's a screenshot for after Springer takes it down. You can even still download a flyer about Springer's now abandoned version of Biological Information: New Perspectives!)

March 1, 2012: Springer Makes False Claims about the Book in an Inside Higher Education Article

The week after Matzke's initial Panda's Thumb post, on March 1, 2012, a piece appeared in Inside Higher Education reporting on the controversy. It stated:

Evolutionary biologists were horrified by the news that a scholarly press was going to publish a work in favor of intelligent design. But a spokesman for the publishing house confirmed to Inside Higher Ed Wednesday that the book's publication is on hold as it is subjected to further peer review.

The article then printed two false claims from a VP at Springer:

Eric Merkel-Sobotta, executive vice president of corporate communications at Springer in Germany, said in an e-mail, that the initial proposal for the book was peer-reviewed by two independent reviewers. "However, once the complete manuscript had been submitted, the series editors became aware that additional peer review would be necessary," Merkel-Sobotta said. "This is currently underway, and the automatically generated pre-announcement for the book on Springer has been removed until the peer-reviewers have made their final decision."

He said Springer was unaware [of] the role the editors of the book play in the intelligent design movement, and the publishing house does not "endorse intelligent design as a legitimate area of scientific research. Springer stands behind evolutionary theory as a fundamental component of modern science."

Now as far as I know, Merkel-Sobotta had no involvement in the discussions between the editors and Springer which led to Springer accepting the book for publication. So I have no idea what degree of personal knowledge he had about what actually happened at Springer regarding the book. In any case, his twofold false claims are as follows: (a) that Springer had decided to do another round of extensive peer-review prior to Matzke's attempt to manufacture a scandal, and (b) that Springer was unaware that the book had connections to intelligent design.

We have powerful evidence that claim (a) is false, because the book was available for purchase both on Springer's website and Amazon at the time Matzke posted his call-to-censorship, and I'm sorry but that doesn't just happen by accident. Thus Springer must have already given the book the full go-ahead for publication by that time. Indeed, Springer confirmed to Dembski on February 20, 2012 -- a week before Matzke posted his attempt to scare Springer into scuttling the book -- that Springer was anticipating publication of the book very soon:

Dear Corresponding Editor,
We are in the process of publishing the Biological Information: New Perspectives, book. We enter into your source files in order to insert running heads, a reference line, final page numbers, and to correct any formatting or capitalization discrepancies.

To make sure that no errors have been inadvertently introduced, we would ask you to take a careful look at your final PDFs, which has been uploaded in the FTP server.

No sign of impending problems with the publication there. In that correspondence, Springer even wrote to Dembski: "Please note that we will only correct errors that have been introduced during the publication process. We cannot update your paper at this stage or correct any errors made by you in the original sent to us. This would delay the publication process."

In other words, Springer wanted any inadvertent typographical errors corrected as soon as possible because they didn't want to "delay the publication process." It sure sounds to me like, as of February 20, 2012, Springer was intending to publish the book shortly, it was far beyond the peer-review stage, and they were already encouraging booksellers (including their own website) to sell the book. In other words, at the time of Matzke's Panda's Thumb post, all the known hard factual evidence indicates that Springer had every intention of publishing the book, and there had been no mention of any plans for "additional peer review." From what I can tell, claim (a) is extremely misleading, a transparently false attempt to distance Springer from the book, and appease Springer's critics after the fact.

Claim (b) -- that Springer was "unaware [of] the role the editors of the book play in the intelligent design movement" -- is even more shamefully and demonstrably false. We know this because the book proposal sent to Springer by William Dembski on behalf of the editors made it absolutely clear that some conference attendees had connections to intelligent design, supported intelligent design, and would be critiquing neo-Darwinian evolution and arguing for intelligent design in their papers.

The opening pages of the book proposal that Dembski sent to Springer in December 2010 stated that the symposium at Cornell would "explore new perspectives regarding the nature and origin of biological information" because "our traditional ideas about biological information are collapsing under the weight of new evidence."

Twenty-two pages of presentation abstracts and author biographies then followed, fleshing out in great detail the proposed content of the book, allowing Springer to evaluate and consider that content. This content made explicitly clear the intelligent design connections of the contributors, and the fact that their book would both challenge neo-Darwinian theory and advocate intelligent design.

Here are some select quotes from the paper abstracts (emphases added):
  • "The standard explanation for the origin of biological information is that it arises exclusively through the mutation/selection process. However,there are many theoretical problems with this classic view."

  • "[B]eneficial mutations that are unambiguous (not deleterious at any level), and useful (subject to natural selection), must be extremely rare."

  • "[C]urrent models of evolutionary genetics yield implausible explanations of macroevolution in the available time."

  • "[T]here are very fundamental problems with the standing theory of how biological information arises."

  • "I present a side by side comparison of design principles observed in the cell and in computer architecture. ... This model predicts thatdesign principles that have been shown to work well in computation will also exist within the cell."

  • "[A] growing number of biologists have argued that the unexpected genetic diversity of life revealed by genome sequencing, and widespread phylogenetic anomalies among microbial taxa, have brought about 'the death of Darwin's tree.'"

  • "[T]his poses a challenge to ... Neo-Darwinian theory."

  • "[T]he optimization of the SCT [Standard Codon Table] has its origin in external intelligence rather than in the adaptive selection of earlier codes."
The abstracts of the talks, represented in the book proposal, also contained brief biographies of the authors/presenters, which said things like (emphases added):
  • "He is also the author of several books, including Charles Hodge's Critique of Darwinism, Icons of Evolution and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, and he is the co-author (with William Dembski) of The Design of Life."

  • He "is a philosopher of biology who has been involved in the intelligent design debate internationally for over two decades."

  • "He is currently a Fellow of the Discovery Institute"

  • "[H]e is now a Senior Research Fellow at the Discovery Institute"

  • "His studies on molecular machines and nucleic acids have resulted in over 25 technical papers, book chapters and submitted patents, which have been cited nearly 1000 times and have provided further evidence for design in nature."

  • "He is currently also a Senior Fellow with the Center for Science and Culture, Discovery Institute, Seattle, WA. He has held National Science Foundation graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. He has published articles in mathematics, philosophy, and theology journals and is the author/editor of more than a dozen books. In The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities (Cambridge University Press, 1998)..."

  • "In his career he has authored over 40 technical papers and two books, Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution and The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism, which argue that living system at the molecular level are best explained as being the result of deliberate intelligent design."
Bear in mind that each of these quotes comes from the book proposal that William Dembski sent to Springer.

Anyone who read the book proposal with any care could not have missed the fact that many of the contributors would be challenging Darwinian evolution and supporting intelligent design, and that some were even leading supporters of "intelligent design." Some of the authors had affiliations with Discovery Institute, which they made no attempt to hide. Unless the people at Springer were totally negligent in reading any of the book proposal and other materials provided by the editors, Springer's claim that it was unaware of the intelligent design connections of the book is nothing less than an outright falsehood.

Conspiracy Theories Multiply on Evolution Blogs

Fed by their own aggression, and Springer's false claims in the Inside Higher Education article, Nick Matzke and many others in the Internet Darwin brigade began to spin all kinds of wildly false conspiracy theories about the circumstances surrounding the conference, the book, and Springer's involvement. Many speculated that Springer was "deceived," supposedly, by the evil "creationists," who somehow hid the book's true content from Springer. For example, Bob O'Hara, the Internet Darwin activist who had contacted Springer to complain about the book, speculated as follows on his science blog with the UK's Guardian:

As the contents of the volume are the typical ID/creationist subjects, how did this book get accepted by Springer-Verlag? Presumably the proposal to have the book published didn't mention ID (nor creationism), but what did it say?
Of course the book isn't about creationism, but as we have already seen, his presumptions were false. Similarly, Wesley Elsberry put out a call to action on his website, asking his cohorts to start digging up dirt on conference participants, because, in his conspiratorial view:

Anything that can provide a record of the intentional subterfuge and misleading material provided to Springer is being expunged even now.

Though eager to paint the "creationists" as evil, Elsberry's team didn't end up finding anything that showed wrongdoing, however imagined. But Elsberry's call to persecution led to all kinds of silly errands, such as digging up and quoting from Professor Robert Marks's wife's 2011 Christmas letter about their family's trip to Cornell University for the conference, which led one commenter who calls himself "Doc Bill" to say:

Wow, almost makes them seem human. Almost.
And that's what they want you to think.

Don't miss that seemingly passing comment, as it gives an insightful peek into the mindset of the people on the persecuting end of these situations: They are so intolerant of ID that they habitually dehumanize ID proponents, and have difficulty believing ID proponents are normal people who have families and send Christmas cards. And when ID proponents give every indication of being "human," appearances cannot be what they seem, for that too must confirm the thesis of a grand ID-based conspiracy. Any appearances of humanity are a cover to hide nefarious intentions. ID proponents must be so evil that any optics to the contrary are simply "what they want you to think."

This dehumanization of ID proponents by critics is hard to believe. But of course, the vitriol against the Cornell volume's editors went much deeper. To give a few examples, critics were so angry about the book that:
  • Nick Matzke charged that the editors are "cranks" who "slither."

  • PZ Myers called the contributors "pathetic," leading his followers to accuse the editors of "gaming the system," promoting an "incredible bit of lies," and working with the "Dishonesty Institute" to "bring the manure."

But there were no lies -- at least none by those involved with the Cornell conference. Instead there were numerous unjust and harsh personal attacks against the editors and contributors to the volume by Internet Darwin lobbyists, false claims made by Springer, and an organized effort to preventBiological Information: New Perspectives from being published.

March-December, 2012: Springer Stonewalls, Breaks Its Word, and Sets Up the Book for Failure

Needless to say, the book's editors were aware of these developments on the Internet and were concerned that the publication of their book was now in jeopardy. After seeing the wacky conspiracy theories on the Darwin blogs, the stated intentions by activists to scuttle the book, and Springer's comments in the March 1, 2012 Inside Higher Ed article, William Dembski e-mailed his contact at Springer, asking what was happening on their end:

Dear [Snip],
I just found this [the Inside Higher Ed article] online. Please let me know what Springer's thinking is about the volume. It was ready to go to the printers, and now criticisms by people who don't know the contents of the book are being invoked to scuttle it (do they know that Stuart Kauffman and self-organizational theorists have also contributed to it?).
My colleagues are getting restless and I need to tell them something.
Best wishes,
Bill Dembski

The Springer editor replied back by parroting the same false statements that Springer had been "unaware of the connections of the book with the intelligent design movement," and that "additional peer review would be necessary." These directives and talking points were probably coming from editors and supervisors much higher up in the Springer hierarchy who wanted to distance Springer from the book. At this stage, Dembski and the other co-authors realized they needed to get legal representation, so they did. (Note: I was not their legal representation.)

On March 7, 2012, the editors' lawyer sent Springer a letter demanding that the publisher honor the book's publication contract, and asking for assurances on this point. Springer's lawyer replied that Springer intended to conduct a "detailed examination" of the book, and promised that "[a]s soon as the outcome of the peer review is known, I will inform you." Springer's attorney further claimed, "The Agreement sets no specific publication date for the work, so that the precise date of publication is determined by Springer."

The editors of the book now realized two things:
  • First, they (the book editors) knew they had satisfied all of the terms of the publication contract with Springer, but now Springer was undertaking an 11th-hour "peer review" -- which Springer had already had months to conduct, a review that was not authorized by the contract -- likely for the sole purpose of intentionally scuttling the book.
  • Second, Springer had the apparent power to delay the outcome of the "review" and publication of the book as long as they wanted, and the editors feared Springer would stonewall for many months.
On April 23, 2012, the editors' attorney then wrote back to Springer, stating:

[A]s you can see by the Authors' lengthy CVs and publication records (see Attachment A of my March 7th letter), they are not afraid of having their work peer-reviewed and subjected to "detail examination." However, they also expect their contractual rights to be honored. Nowhere does the Agreement vest Springer the power or authority to make such a "detailed examination" or to impose an "additional round of peer reviewing" after the Agreement was executed, much less at the 11th hour of the publication process.

The editors' attorney also explained that the book proposal and made it quite clear what the book was about, quoting many of the same excerpts I've quoted in this article. He concluded:

Since the formation of the Agreement, the Authors have complied with and satisfied all of their contractual duties under the Agreement, having already submitted the Book's manuscript in full compliance with the Agreement's form, content, and size requirements, thereby triggering Springer's performance under the Agreement to publish the book. Consequently, and as a matter of law, when Springer signed the Agreement, it was fully aware of and clearly accepted the scholarly content of the Book and, therefore, is now duty bound to immediately publish the Book.
The terms of the Agreement do not give Springer carte blanche to do whatever it wants at this point of the contractual relationship. Springer is legally bound by the terms of the Agreement, has no rights under the Agreement to reject the book at this stage, and its intent to breach the Agreement seems to be motivated by a desire to censor scientific views with which it disagrees.

Of course, Springer is welcome to hold whatever views it wants on intelligent design and evolution. It is also welcome to publish books critiquing intelligent design and endorsing evolution, and we are aware of many examples where Springer has done so. Publishing one side of the scholarly debate is prima facie viewpoint based censorship. However, Springer is not welcome to breach the Agreement, and thus illegally censor the publication of a book discussing legitimate scientific research supporting intelligent design, simply because it does not like the viewpoints being expressed. This is particularly troubling as Springer is a publisher.

Springer's attorneys did not reply to this letter until May 21, 2012. When they did so, they continued to misrepresent the contract, claiming that paragraph 2 in the contract gave Springer the right to undertake the 11th-hour peer review, and essentially back out of the contract at any stage prior to final publication. Here's the relevant text from paragraph 2:

The manuscript meets the terms of this agreement only if it satisfies agreed stipulations as to form, content, and size. Editor, in cooperation with the Authors, is responsible for correctness of the manuscript, including content, language, and formal presentation.

Now you might notice that this language looks very different from Springer's characterization of it. If you read this language carefully, you'll see that once the book contract is signed, it requires the authors to provide a manuscript that "satisfies agreed stipulations as to form, content, and size." 

And what are the "agreed stipulations"? That's simple: They are the basic requirements of Springer's publishing format ("form"), the book proposal that William Dembski transmitted to Springer, as well as a request to add some additional contributors in the self-organization section ("content"), and the length of the book ("size"). In fact, the manuscript provided by the authors completely satisfied these terms of the contract.

Now the skeptic might wonder, "Doesn't Springer have the right to review the book?," and the answer to that question is of course "Yes." Springer did review it. And Springer accepted it. And then Springer signed a legally binding contract. Which meant that provided that the authors performed as agreed, Springer was obligated to publish. And the authors did satisfy their requirements under the contract.

Thus, here's how it was supposed to work under the contract that the book's editors had with Springer:
  • First, the editors submit a detailed book proposal to Springer. Springer then has the right to review that book proposal, which they did (as Merkel-Sobotta acknowledged, "the initial proposal for the book was peer-reviewed by two independent reviewers"). Springer then has the right, based upon their detailed examination of the book proposal and response from the reviewers, to make a determination on whether it wants to offer the authors a book contract.
  • We already know that Springer should have been fully aware, from the book proposal it received, that the book would criticize neo-Darwinian evolution, and that some chapters would even argue for intelligent design and/or be written by leading figures in the ID movement. We also know that after reading the book proposal, Springer offered the authors a contract, which both parties signed.
  • At this stage, the ball was in the authors' court. They must then provide a book manuscript whose form, content, and size conforms to the book proposal, and also Springer's formatting requirements, and any other "agreed stipulations." That's exactly what paragraph 2 of the contract, quoted above, requires.
  • And guess what? That's exactly what the authors provided.
In other words, here's where the contract legally stood at the time that Springer sent the manuscript out for "additional peer review" after the Darwin lobby started its censorship campaign in February-March 2012:
  • Since Springer had reviewed and accepted the book proposal,
  • And since the manuscript provided by the authors conformed exactly to the what the book proposal said the book would be, and the authors found additional contributors for the self-organization section (as Springer requested),
  • And since the manuscript unambiguously satisfied the any and all other "agreed stipulations,"
  • Therefore, the authors performed their end of the contract,
  • And therefore Springer was obligated to perform its obligations under the contract and publish the book.
But Springer didn't want to publish the book because they feared reprisals from the Darwin lobby. By March 2012, Springer was determined to find a way to cancel the book contract.

Thus, this "additional peer review" wasn't real peer review. It was a last-minute kangaroo-review, initiated in hopes of pacifying ID-critics with their angry threats, undertaken with a pre-determined outcome in mind: to scuttle the book. And under the contract between Springer and the authors, Springer had no legal right to conduct it.

On May 21, 2012, Springer made a promise to the authors:

The peer review process is envisaged to be completed in about two months from today's date.
That means Springer promised to have the review process completed around July 21. That day came and went with no response from Springer.

Then another four and a half months passed with still no answer from Springer, just stonewalling.
Then, on December 3, 2012 -- a full nine months after Dembski was told by his contact at the publisher that "additional peer review would be necessary" -- Springer replied by notifying the authors' lawyer that "we are sorry to have to inform your client that Springer will not be able to publish your clients submitted volume 'Biological Information: New Perspectives' within the series at Springer."

Nobody on the authors' end was the least bit surprised by this outcome. Months earlier, Springer had already breached the contract, and violated the law. This was exactly the outcome Springer wanted. And it was an illegal outcome, to say nothing of the fact that it offended the important values of intellectual freedom and freedom of scientific inquiry.

At this point, many might wonder why the authors didn't sue. They almost did. But there was a major unjust barrier to a lawsuit: Springer-Verlag is based in Germany, and a boilerplate clause in the contract said that in the case of a dispute, "The courts of Berlin, Germany shall have the exclusive jurisdiction." This meant that the authors, who are academics of limited financial means, found that it would have been financially unfeasible and extremely difficult to pursue a potentially long, costly, and drawn-out lawsuit in Germany. Justice isn't cheap, or easily obtained, and unfortunately the authors simply couldn't afford going to Germany to get it.

The authors then decided to simply seek other publishers. Ultimately they published the book with World Scientific Publishing. And that's where we are today. This is a story of pernicious censorship. But it's also a story in which the Darwin lobby's attempt at censorship ultimately failed.

Who is to Blame for the Censorship?

The primary instigators in this situation are the folks in the Darwin lobby who threatened an economic boycott against Springer in order to bully the publisher into cancelling the book. Springer, however, is far from innocent. Springer willingly, and I believe even eagerly, capitulated to the demands of the Darwin lobby to cancel the book. The publisher illegally breached the book contract, made private promises to the authors which they broke, and publicly made false -- and possibly even defamatory -- statements about the authors' dealings with Springer regarding the book. Would Springer have done all of this were it not for the threats of the Darwin lobby? It's hard to say; we'll probably never know for sure.

All this said, throughout this process it became clear that inside of Springer, there are good people who didn't support censoring the book, and others who did. Unfortunately, the censors ultimately won out. But one can only hope that they would see the errors of their ways and realize that intellectual freedom and freedom of scientific inquiry are far more important than pacifying a small band of angry, intolerant, and even hate-filled people who make a lot of noise on the Internet -- including threats and bullying -- to get their way. And their way is censorship of anyone who promotes intelligent design, and challenges materialistic views of evolution. Thankfully, in this case, the censors ultimately failed.



A peak under the hood of Darwinists and their real nature.  Censors, bullies, propagandists  anti-science, anti-God and certainly NOT people who represent the ideals of real science.  This disgraceful look at the world of Darwinist peer review and the nature of those who control the money and power in the 21st Century clues you in to the thinking of the Darwinist.  Truth is of no concern, just the continuance of the propaganda.  Those who dare question the ruling paradigm are threatened and silenced.

Do you want to be lumped in with such behavior?  It is typical.  This is the world of so-called science in the 21st Century.   Bet you thought the Dark Ages were over, huh?  Nope.  As long as there are dark hearts in positions of power this kind of idiocy will continue.