The healthy skepticism Ritchie brings to his analysis is born of his desire to reform the scientific enterprise in order to restore high-quality science. The author’s animating theme is that given our heavy reliance on science, scientific malpractice is of the first consequence. Unfortunately, Ritchie asserts, “Fraud in science is not the vanishingly rare scenario that we desperately want it to be. In fact, it’s distressingly common.” As he carefully documents in numerous case studies, too much science is marked by epistemological vices and malpractice: carelessness, dishonesty, falsification, sham investigations, self-deception, delusion, hypocrisy, fraud, stonewalling, data fabrication, favouritism and other “social” ailments, including gross incompetence and attempts to silence naysayers.Patrick Kenney, “When science becomes fiction” at C2C Journal
“Attempts to silence naysayers?” Ya don’t say!
Seriously, at least half of all Darwinism in print would likely be discredited if naysayers were given a respectful hearing. Sure, some of it is salvageable but without honest critique from outside Fort Darwin, how would you know which half?
Also from Kenney:
Science in recent years has been abused and misrepresented, and “a peculiar complacency and strange arrogance” have settled in the scientific community. There is for example a scandalous crisis in replication, the process of repeating research to determine the extent to which findings generalize across time and situations. As Ritchie phrases it, if a study won’t replicate, then “it’s hard to describe what you’ve done as scientific at all.” As he puts it, “Worrying about whether results replicate or not isn’t optional. It’s the basic spirit of science.” (Replication is also a critical check on error, incompetence and fraud.)
Yet in discipline after discipline, scientists have failed to replicate studies.Patrick Kenney, “When science becomes fiction” at C2C Journal
But who calls them to account, as opposed to touting the (increasingly uncertain) glories of science?