Tuesday, 1 February 2011

In defence of Delingpole

James Delingpole is one of my favourite bloggers.  Not only (apologies for the sycophancy) do I find him entertaining, provocative and on the money, I get the impression he's a really nice chap.  In fact I do occasionally dream of us having a man-date together, I think we would get on. The venue would be a tank museum or similar, I could call him Dellers maybe.  We would discuss Operation Overlord then go on to a restaurant for a big steak and get drunk on claret.  Finally one of us would flirt inappropriately with the waitress and we'd both fall asleep in a taxi.

Back to reality, I was (vide supra) obviously annoyed by Sir Paul Nurse PRS and his sneering treatment of Dellers in his recent Horizon Documentary.  It is the political posturing by scientists from their "I'm an eminent scientist you're not so I'm right" platform that really pisses me off.  I'll return to Nurse in future posts but two points for now.  First Nurse's analogy with cancer treatment was bollocks (I'm assuming you've seen the documentary).  Cancer drugs are these days often designed in a computer (i.e let's model the shape of the receptor, lets see if the drug fits etc.), then tested in biological systems because the body is an extremely complex system (like climate) and the computer isn't able to prove the safety or effectiveness of the drug.  My simple response to Nurse would have been "so you would take a cancer drug that hadn't been tested in vivo?"  Because that is the equivalent stage of climate science at the moment in comparison with medical science and someone like Nurse should acknowledge that, not make trite remarks.

My second point is check out Nurse's picture on his Wikipedia page, in particular his coiffure.  If there is one warning to teach your kids, it's that any scientist who cares about his personal appearance is up to something.


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