In general I agree with the points being made. But I take disagree with how a quote from my original post about the Wolfe-Simon paper is described under Lesson 2: Blogs are a public microphone, and people are listening. Here's what I wrote:
"I don’t know whether the authors are just bad scientists or whether they’re unscrupulously pushing NASA’s ‘There’s life in outer space!’ agenda. I hesitate to blame the reviewers, as their objections are likely to have been overruled by Science’s editors in their eagerness to score such a high-impact publication."The author of the blog then says:
This paragraph is both inaccurate and unfounded. The author of this blog post (Dr. Rosie Redfield) followed a detailed technical critique with a slate of personal attacks, snark, and assumptions as to the motivations of the authors, NASA, and Science’s editors.
I've seen complaints about these two sentences elsewhere, most recently here, and I don't think they're valid. Here's the comment I just posted on the PaleBlue blog:
Despite all the opprobrium attracted by those two sentences in my original post, I still think they nicely distribute the responsibility for what everyone agrees was a truly terrible paper.
Producing some bad science does not automatically make one a bad scientist, but the authors' continuing refusal to admit they made any mistakes is not a good sign. NASA's financial support for the work certainly played a role, as probably did the publicity they eagerly provided. I doubt that the paper would have been accepted if all the reviewers had identified the obvious errors, and Science's editors were certainly complicit in the decision to publish.