Culture Darwinism Intelligent Design Science

When science becomes fiction, it often appears happy with the transformation

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In a review of Stuart Ritchie’s Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth

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?

3 Replies to “When science becomes fiction, it often appears happy with the transformation

  1. 1
    BobRyan says:

    Those who claim that a given belief is beyond criticism due to said claim being fact may have the credentials of scientists, but that does not make said belief science. Eugenicists believed, and continue to believe, that humans with less genetic material was superior to those with greater genetic material. Race is the only thing that matters, with the understanding that different cultures/ideologies vary on their definition of race. La Raza believes that Mexicans are superior based on nothing more than origin in Mexico, which is why their motto is ‘For those within the race, everything. For those outside the race, nothing.’ The race they refer to are those of purely Mexican descent. Purity of race of any kind is not a positive thing. It leads to numerous genetic problems.

  2. 2
    tjguy says:

    “Yet in discipline after discipline, scientists have failed to replicate studies. ”

    Not only that, but in many cases, they aren’t even able to test their own hypotheses, especially when it comes to what happened in the deep past. If you can’t test your hypothesis, is it still science?

    So, in these instances, science seems like nothing more than educated guesswork based on their arbitrary worldview, but it passes for trustworthy “science” nonetheless. Yes, there is a credibility problem in Science today.

  3. 3
    Ralph Dave Westfall says:

    The “publish or perish” paradigm is destroying science. Having to publish X publications in journals of Y quality to get tenure does not encourage academic integrity. The proliferation of journals is a market response to the requirement for publications, to the point that some journals now charge to get published.

    Not only does the proliferation of journals reduce standards, it also degrades the quality of reviewing. It makes it harder and harder to detect inadvertent mistakes or intentional fraud, even if some of the reviewers are conscientious.

    This isn’t sour grapes. I had no trouble publishing enough to get tenure and promotion.

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