DailyDirt: Bad Science Is Coming to Get Us

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Scientific publishing has been a lucrative industry in recent years, even though scientists have faced increasing competition over limited funding. The publish-or-perish academic model may be contributing to an increase in scientific fraud, but maybe the increased accessibility of digital journals is simply making it easier for honest mistakes to be caught. The scientific method is supposed to weed out incorrect conclusions, but there may be a lot of wasted effort as scientists try to replicate experiments that are just completely fictitious. It gets harder and harder to make decisions based on evidence -- if there is growing uncertainty that any evidence can be trusted.... If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2012 @ 5:04pm

    academia as we know it now may perish...

    The Khan academy and all the other online educational tools are making meatspace lecturers a bit obsolete. Who needs to sit in a huge auditorium and listen to some old person trying to talk and write on a chalkboard at the same time?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    mudlock (profile), Nov 7th, 2012 @ 5:25pm

    "but at least statistics can be used to ferret out the lies."

    It's like rock-paper-scissors!

    Lies are flashier than statistics,

    Damn lies are more impressive than lies,

    Statistics reveal damn lies!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    6, Nov 7th, 2012 @ 5:34pm

    Probably mostly mistakes. Science gets more and more complex, as does engineering. Newbies in the respective field have a harder time getting up to speed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2012 @ 6:14pm

    So much for those who put their faith in science.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2012 @ 6:15pm

    Re:

    Don't rule out fraud.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2012 @ 10:57pm

    Re:

    Science and the pursuit of knowledge have revealed to us many things.

    What is the alternative?
    And don't say story books written thousands of years ago.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2012 @ 11:08pm

    If you get your science news in the UK from the daily mail what do you expect?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2012 @ 5:36am

    Re:

    So much for those who misunderstand that which they abhor.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), Nov 8th, 2012 @ 6:24am

    Re: academia as we know it now may perish...

    Huh?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), Nov 8th, 2012 @ 6:33am

    Re:

    "Faith" and "science" are mutually exclusive things. People doing science, the results of scientific investigation, fraud, etc., are not the scientific method, with which there is nothing wrong. Mistakes are how we learn.

    More generally WRT the article, you know scientific papers have to be published before anyone knows about them, allowing for replication of experiments. This is how science is done.

    Really, papers which have been shown to be simply mistaken should not be removed, but amended to show where the damn mistakes were made. Those that moved forward despite knowledge of error without correction, and outright frauds, should be retracted with an analysis of fraud or the bad science put in its place.

    Beyond that, screw the majority of the current journal system, which has everything to do with publishers, and little to do with actual science, although scientists are forced to depend on publishing for more bad reasons than good.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    David, Nov 8th, 2012 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re:

    No, faith and science are not mutually exclusive. To understand why, we must first abandon the invalid notion that faith is mustered up belief in the improvable.

    Having done that, we can move forward and learn that faith is a mixture of trust and belief. Therefore, faith has three axioms:

    (1) The object or target of faith.
    (2) The belief system of facts or axioms related to the object.
    (3) The works, or actions as a result of (1) and (2).

    Any scientist, before ever attempting to prove an hypothesis (an object), must first demonstrate trust and belief (faith) that the hypothesis is most likely provable, otherwise, an experiment (works) will never be performed.

    Should it later be demonstrated (via works) that the hypothesis was not provable, then the hypothesis and what ever trust and belief that was previously held, is discarded.

    Which means, the faith object was not valid.

    Conversely, when the hypothesis is proven, we move out of faith into knowledge - which is the point of faith: it is the stepping stone that moves us from belief and trust into knowledge. E.g., I don't need faith to sit in a chair: experience has proven that most chairs will hold me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2012 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Apparently you do not understand science

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    Isaac Newton, for example, was a man of faith AND of science.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This