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  • Science is Broken

    MAG: 'Much scientific research published today is false'

    ... via Drudge
    EXCERPTS*

    Big Science is broken

    Science is broken.

    That's the thesis of a must-read article in First Things magazine, in which William A. Wilson accumulates evidence that a lot of published research is false. But that's not even the worst part.

    Advocates of the existing scientific research paradigm usually smugly declare that while some published conclusions are surely false, the scientific method has "self-correcting mechanisms" that ensure that, eventually, the truth will prevail. Unfortunately for all of us, Wilson makes a convincing argument that those self-correcting mechanisms are broken.

    For starters, there's a "replication crisis" in science. This is particularly true in the field of experimental psychology, where far too many prestigious psychology studies simply can't be reliably replicated. But it's not just psychology. In 2011, the pharmaceutical company Bayer looked at 67 blockbuster drug discovery research findings published in prestigious journals, and found that three-fourths of them weren't right. Another study of cancer research found that only 11 percent of preclinical cancer research could be reproduced. Even in physics, supposedly the hardest and most reliable of all sciences, Wilson points out that "two of the most vaunted physics results of the past few years the announced discovery of both cosmic inflation and gravitational waves at the BICEP2 experiment in Antarctica, and the supposed discovery of superluminal neutrinos at the Swiss-Italian border have now been retracted, with far less fanfare than when they were first published."

    What explains this? In some cases, human error. Much of the research world exploded in rage and mockery when it was found out that a highly popularized finding by the economists Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhardt linking higher public debt to lower growth was due to an Excel error. Steven Levitt, of Freakonomics fame, largely built his career on a paper arguing that abortion led to lower crime rates 20 years later because the aborted babies were disproportionately future criminals. Two economists went through the painstaking work of recoding Levitt's statistical analysis and found a basic arithmetic error.

    Then there is outright fraud. In a 2011 survey of 2,000 research psychologists, over half admitted to selectively reporting those experiments that gave the result they were after. The survey also concluded that around 10 percent of research psychologists have engaged in outright falsification of data, and more than half have engaged in "less brazen but still fraudulent behavior such as reporting that a result was statistically significant when it was not, or deciding between two different data analysis techniques after looking at the results of each and choosing the more favorable."
    ...
    http://theweek.com/articles/618141/big-science-broken

    * "EXCERPTS" in edit to clarify the above from the linked article, recommended to be read.
    Last edited by G David Bock; 19 Apr 16, 10:32.
    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
    “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
    Present Current Events are the Future's History

  • #2
    Scientists are...not science itself.

    Comment


    • #3
      My main gripe is that science seems to become religion in its own right, but instead of explaining everything with one big power, ie god, it's all about going the other direction trying to explain that everything is small.
      Wisdom is personal

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Karri View Post
        My main gripe is that science seems to become religion in its own right, but instead of explaining everything with one big power, ie god, it's all about going the other direction trying to explain that everything is small.
        Actually the scientific fight is between big and small - ie Relativity vs Quantum Mechanics .



        Also: http://www.theguardian.com/news/2015...rse-physicists
        How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
        Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Karri View Post
          My main gripe is that science seems to become religion in its own right, but instead of explaining everything with one big power, ie god, it's all about going the other direction trying to explain that everything is small.
          Bollocks, Science is just a bunch of mugs trying to figure out individual things. Take any individual scientist at a cocktail party, and instead of boring you stupid about God vs Man they will bore you stupid about the minutiae of their particular field.
          One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions - Admiral Grace Hopper

          "The eunuch should not take pride in his chastity."
          Wu Cheng'en Monkey

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Chukka View Post
            Bollocks, Science is just a bunch of mugs trying to figure out individual things. Take any individual scientist at a cocktail party, and instead of boring you stupid about God vs Man they will bore you stupid about the minutiae of their particular field.
            Same can be said about a priest or any religious person.
            Wisdom is personal

            Comment


            • #7
              CTers at it again? Nothing new there.
              Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
              Hyperwar, Whats New
              World War II Resources
              The best place in the world to "work".

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Karri View Post
                Same can be said about a priest or any religious person.
                Except that religion doesn't require or want proof.
                Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
                Hyperwar, Whats New
                World War II Resources
                The best place in the world to "work".

                Comment


                • #9
                  "What is the truest statement in Science ?"

                  "I don't know."

                  "Exactly !"

                  Science is about theories, about inserting your mind into the cracks and twisting. Sometimes you make a mess, sometimes you waste years on an idea that turns out to be a steaming pile of... well you get the idea, and sometimes - just often enough to matter - there's a genuine breakthrough that adds to our understanding of the universe and how it works.

                  Science has always been, "Broken," - to use your summary - the difference these days is that mass communication means that more people are aware of (and working on) the same things, and dead ends are seen to be so that little bit faster.

                  Despite what even scientists would like to think, the unknown is just that, and we're sitting on the beach looking at pebbles and trying to understand the ocean even now.

                  If we're lucky, previous generations have left us a raft, but there's still a h*ll of a lot of water out there.
                  Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    :snork: Complaining about science on the WORLD WIDE WEB?
                    Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
                    Hyperwar, Whats New
                    World War II Resources
                    The best place in the world to "work".

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ah...the sweet smell of irony in the morning...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                        Ah...the sweet smell of irony in the morning...
                        EITHER: Science is broken.

                        OR: I'm wrong.

                        GOTO: EITHER.
                        Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
                        Hyperwar, Whats New
                        World War II Resources
                        The best place in the world to "work".

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
                          EITHER: Science is broken.

                          OR: I'm wrong.

                          GOTO: EITHER.
                          You are often "wrong" but that's not the topic here.

                          Per the OP and article link has to do with false data resulting in false conclusions. Sometimes the fault of the system/process and not caught by the researcher, other times by intent(to falsify) of the researcher.
                          TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
                          “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
                          Present Current Events are the Future's History

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
                            EITHER: Science is broken.

                            OR: I'm wrong.

                            GOTO: EITHER.
                            The point I was trying to make is that Science has always been broken, it's just a bit more noticeable today.
                            Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
                              You are often "wrong" but that's not the topic here.

                              Per the OP and article link has to do with false data resulting in false conclusions. Sometimes the fault of the system/process and not caught by the researcher, other times by intent(to falsify) of the researcher.
                              Science isn't broken, despite your most desperate wishes otherwise.
                              Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
                              Hyperwar, Whats New
                              World War II Resources
                              The best place in the world to "work".

                              Comment

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