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Replication failures of Darwinian sexual selection openly discussed at The Scientist

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What’s hot? What’s not?/Niklas Bildhauer, Wikimedia

It’s as if evolutionary biologists are beginning to take some of the problems of Darwinism seriously enough to discuss them openly, as failures in research. In this case, the failure of claims for sexual selection (females drive evolution by choosing the fittest mates) are openly publicized.

In the past five years, meta-analyses and reviews have generated more evidence of bias in ecology and evolutionary biology research. For example, biases have been found in the literature on ideas such as feather color affecting mate choice in blue tits and black bib sizes indicating male dominance in house sparrows. As with zebra finch leg bands, such biases don’t necessarily invalidate the hypotheses themselves, but undermine the strength of evidence for them, leaving researchers questioning concepts once considered well-supported. While scientists disagree on the extent of the reproducibility problem—which exists across disciplines, from psychology to cancer biology—they have begun to undertake efforts to reduce bias and improve transparency in ecology and evolution research.

Available data suggest that questionable research practices are common enough in ecology and evolution research to warrant concern. Last month, Hannah Fraser, an ecologist at University of Melbourne, and colleagues surveyed more than 800 ecologists and evolutionary biologists and found that many of the researchers—mostly midcareer and senior—admitted to at least one instance of selective reporting (64 percent), use of the flexible stopping rule (42 percent), or having changed hypotheses to fit their results (51 percent). Yao-Hua Law, “Replication Failures Highlight Biases in Ecology and Evolution Science” at The Scientist

This is neck and neck with the Nature review of The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life, one wonders, are the staff at The Scientist competing with the staff at Nature to be first out of Darwin’s collapsing house of cards?

But the big problem lies in the sense of the closing quote: “Parker agrees. ‘If a study was worth doing because you thought the answer could be valuable, then we should really know what the answer is regardless of the answer.’” Yes, provided one is willing to face the possibility that basic thing one believes might not be correct.

In any event, researchers should not be banished for failing to produce the results everyone expected to see. Scientists are supposed to be truth seekers, not magicians. It’s nobody’s fault if, as Tom Wolfe (1931-2018) sensed would happen, Darwinism falls. It will be much less missed than some must think.

Note: Darwin’s House of Cards is the name of a 2017 book by Tom Bethell, prefiguring all this.

See also: At Nature: New evolution book represents “radical” new perspective. Including things you didn’t know about Archaea discoverer, Carl Woese. It’s true. Woese, the first to recognize the kingdom of life, the Archaea, was not a Darwinist and believed in a deity. Prediction: Soon only cranks will be Darwinists.

At Forbes: Overthrowing Darwin’s theory by better explanations? But if the bar is actually set at a better explanation, in the sense of an explanation that explains more of what we see more cogently and provides better predictions, ID theorists might be able to do it.

Replication crisis: New proposal suggests, Let scientists admit mistakes and move on

Fable: More on what happened when one team tried publishing a failed replication paper in Nature


Can sex explain evolution?

2 Replies to “Replication failures of Darwinian sexual selection openly discussed at The Scientist

  1. 1
    johnnyb says:

    The funny thing about sexual selection is that it is somewhat required for Darwinism to work, but, even to the extent that it is true, sexual selection undermines Darwinism. That is, sexual selection requires that there exist a program, based on your genes, that drives the direction of selection. Thus, it requires that evolution be pre-programmed in its directionality.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this quote

    “they have begun to undertake efforts to reduce bias and improve transparency in ecology and evolution research.”

    Yeah right. That is a good sentiment for them to have in private but is a joke if they think they can implement such ‘transparency’ in the real world.

    A huge part of Darwinian indoctrination in schools hinges on the theory’s defenders being as opaque as possible to honest and critical evaluation, and also in repeating false claims even after those claims are shown to be wrong.

    Just look at how Darwinists constantly oppose academic freedom standards for schools in which evidence against evolution would also be allowed to be taught alongside the (supposed) evidence for it,,,

    “Most school districts today teach only a one-sided version of evolution which presents only the facts which supposedly support the theory. But most pro-ID organizations think evolution should be taught as a scientific theory that is open to critical scrutiny, not as a sacred dogma that can’t be questioned.”

    .,,, and also look at Jonathan Well’s book ‘Icons of Evolution’ and his subsequent book “Zombie Science” to see how Darwinists, since they have no real evidence to support their sweeping claims, constantly recycle falsified ‘Icons’ of evolution in order to fraudulently indoctrinate young students into believing that Darwinian evolution is unquestionably true.


    Zombie Science: More Icons of Evolution – March 27, 2017 – by Jonathan Wells
    In 2000, biologist Jonathan Wells took the science world by storm with Icons of Evolution, a book showing how biology textbooks routinely promote Darwinism using bogus evidence—icons of evolution like Ernst Haeckel’s faked embryo drawings and peppered moths glued to tree trunks. Critics of the book complained that Wells had merely gathered up a handful of innocent textbook errors and blown them out of proportion. Now, in Zombie Science, Wells asks a simple question: If the icons of evolution were just innocent textbook errors, why do so many of them still persist? Science has enriched our lives and led to countless discoveries. But now, Wells argues, it’s being corrupted. Empirical science is devolving into zombie science, shuffling along unfazed by opposing evidence. Discredited icons of evolution rise from the dead while more icons—equally bogus—join their ranks. Like a B horror movie, they just keep coming! Zombies are make believe, but zombie science is real—and it threatens not just science, but our whole culture. Is there a solution? Wells is sure of it, and points the way.

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