The Dictionary of the Climate Debate (DCD)


cargo cult science
Definition: A term often used by skeptics to denote "practices that seem to be scientific, but actually don't follow the scientific method" — e.g., to treat the results of climate model runs as if they have the same empirical value as the testing or measurement of an actual physical phenomenon.

Notes:
1. The term was first used by the physicist Richard Feynman during his commencement address at the California Institute of Technology, United States, in 1974. Click here to read it. The following video is a reading of this essay.



2. Click here to read Roy Spencer's blog post Global Warming As Cargo Cult Science.

Example Usages -

1. "Her talk is a typical example of cargo cult science. They use words that sound scientific, they talk about experiments and about their excitement. Formally, everything looks like science. There is only one problem with their theoretical work: the airplanes don’t land and the gravitons don’t scatter. It is because they are unable to impartially evaluate facts, to distinguish facts from wishful thinking and results from assumptions, and to abandon hypotheses that have been falsified."
(Source: The Reference Frame )


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