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Noticed: Science as checkout counter mag

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Someone else has noticed:

Benedict Carey describes a University of Virginia-led effort to reproduce the findings of 100 key psychological studies published in top journals. Over 250 researchers chose some of the most often cited findings in their field and tried to replicate the results with their own experiments. The outcomes, published in the journal, “Science,” weren’t pretty. Of the 100 studies tested, 60 did not yield the results their authors reported. In other words, the findings couldn’t live up to a basic requirement of science—repeatability. It’s a revelation Carey says confirms many scientists’ worst fears.

Why should that be those scientists’ worst fears. Can’t they compel us all to fund them anyway?

“The vetted studies,” he explained, “were considered part of the core knowledge by which scientists understand the dynamics of personality, relationships, learning and memory.” And the fact that so many studies were called into question makes one question the work of therapists and educators who relied on that research to do their jobs.

This stuff should have been questioned decades ago.

I remember walking into a violence against women centre in Toronto in the early 1990s, a place soaked in that kind of dribble, where the big slogan was “She has the right to be believed!”

Really? According to the Scriptures, even God gave proof on many occasions, when asked.

Okay fine, you don’t believe in God.

How about the Royal Society motto: Nullius in verba:

The Royal Society’s motto ‘Nullius in verba’ is taken to mean ‘take nobody’s word for it’. It is an expression of the determination of Fellows to withstand the domination of authority and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment.

Anyway:

Now what’s behind this embarrassing revelation? Why are so many scientists apparently exaggerating and misinterpreting their findings? Carey points to what the scientists themselves describe as “a hypercompetitive culture across science that favors novel, sexy results and provides little incentive for researchers to replicate the findings of others, or for journals to publish studies that fail to find a splashy result.”

In other words, sensationalist science is its own undoing. More.

Yes, except for when it serves the purposes of a unaccountable government authority that can force funding for its objectives. The whole point then is to break down critical thinking …

No wonder that whole field is an intellectual recycle bin. See also: If peer review is working, why all the retractions?

Note intended only for passing trolls: News writer O’Leary is concerned about violence against women and recommends to all women in danger, fight back. Seriously. You’d be surprised how many tossers that deters.

See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (the human mind)

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One Reply to “Noticed: Science as checkout counter mag

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    “Of the 100 studies tested, 60 did not yield the results their authors reported.”

    Amazing. So you have a 60% chance of being correct if you disagree with a psychological study and only a 40% chance of being correct if you agree with it.

    What is also interesting to learn in the article is the ‘psychological’ motivation behind the failed psychological studies:

    Now what’s behind this embarrassing revelation? Why are so many scientists apparently exaggerating and misinterpreting their findings? Carey points to what the scientists themselves describe as “a hypercompetitive culture across science that favors novel, sexy results and provides little incentive for researchers to replicate the findings of others, or for journals to publish studies that fail to find a splashy result.”

    In other words, sensationalist science is its own undoing. But there’s more to it. Norbert Schwarz, a psychology professor at the University of Southern California, tells the Times that many senior researchers bristle at the thought of a younger, less experienced scientist critiquing their work. “There’s no doubt,” he said, “that replication is important, but it’s often just [seen as] an attack, a vigilante exercise.”

    In other words, the real flaw in a lot of research isn’t technical or methodological. It’s just old-fashioned human pride.
    http://www.breakpoint.org/bpco.....y/13/28188

    Hmmm, old fashioned pride. Where have I heard about that particular psychological flaw before?

    Verse:

    Luke 14:11
    For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

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