From an interview with John Staddon we learn that constructive criticism is more useful than cheerleading when one’s game needs work. One outcome of the problems Staddon describes is that “trust the science” is becoming something of a joke in a broad variety of areas and that is not good news.
Rob Sheldon: There was nothing either unethical or inaccurate in the paper. The conclusions were wrong. This is true of over 50% of papers in the literature. Further papers show why the conclusions were wrong. No one retracts a paper because the data was interpreted improperly. For example, Newton’s conclusion that the universe was unstable. Einstein’s conclusion that a cosmological constant could stabilize it.
Remember this shameful episode when faced with bureaucrats huffing “Trust the science!” It appears that the science doesn’t trust the science. And if not, why should anyone else?
The bottom line is that—in a move worthy of an existentialist writer like Kafka—Cancel Culture has succeeded in making actual issues around mentorship dangerous to discuss. The big loser is equity, of course, because if one can’t discuss actual issues (like guys are higher in the hierarchy at present), then one can’t propose useful approaches. But there is always, of course, a bureaucrat out there (many, actually), quite ready to conduct a seminar, etc., which will change nothing because no one can afford to be honest.
Okay. Some say the signs were there all along. One scientist asks, “Who will believe us again? A better question is, maybe, why?
Behe: The authors imply that since no reason is known why, say, DNA should be synthesized discontinuously on the lagging strand, then no good reason in fact exists. Yet not long ago the same sort of fallacious argument from ignorance was made concerning “junk DNA.”
We are informed that all science Twitter is in a ghastly rage over an open access paper in Nature Communications which seems to show that female scientists benefit more from male mentors than from female mentors. To a layperson with some life experience, that wouldn’t be a surprising outcome at all. In a system that has been male-dominated since forever, more guys would be higher up on the pole. And if you want to get ahead, it pays to know Top People… But, of course, the Outrage Mob is sharpening the guillotine. Their final enemy is, after all, reality in any of its forms.
Our intrepid narrator had reason to wonder when the badly written letter soliciting papers had an odd attachment: “The editor who sent it to me had, inexplicably, attached a handbook on Covid-19 hospital protocols, a document that detailed at length the precise mechanism of sealing the dead in a “leak-proof corpse wrapping sheet.”
A Cornell U psych prof warns against letting the career lardbellies know in so many words that you plan to shake things up a bit.
Dr. Hesselmann’s probably right but how depressing. In a world where so much research that doesn’t involve fraud fails replication, it’s just a fact that most published research papers in many fields are probably wrong or at least sloppy. So why bother with fraud? But not exactly a good look for science.
Payment would change the landscape in a number of ways. Reviewing would become less of an imposition and more of a job. Whether it would become fairer is unclear but it might become a lot faster. Many might be glad for that.
The editors need not, of course, sympathize with the ID perspective to think that evidence for it should be permitted to be discussed. At one time, that was a conventional intellectual position. But the Darwinians, as we’ve said here earlier, are an early flowering of Cancel Culture. No evidence may be discussed that may be thought to favor an Incorrect view.
Ballantyne is known for the concept of “epistemic trespassing,” where a scholar, convinced that his thesis explains the universe, invades other disciplines like the mad bull charging into the literary tearoom.
Hey, that’s good news. But what about all the people whose lives were turned upside down by the herd of stampeding buffalo otherwise known as our moral and intellectual superiors?
Researchers: “When individuals are fully independent, even under highly unfavorable circumstances a consensus provides strong evidence for the correctness of the affirmed position. This no longer remains the case once dependence, polarization, and external pressure are introduced. With such interventions, the probability of a false consensus increases dramatically.
” “Shut up, he explained” is not consensus, it’s false consensus.