In 1996, it looked like a “depression gene” had been found. As it happened,
But a new study—the biggest and most comprehensive of its kind yet—shows that this seemingly sturdy mountain of research is actually a house of cards, built on nonexistent foundations.Ed Yong, “A Waste of 1,000 Research Papers” at The Atlantic
Think of it: A thousand research papers and tens of thousands of pop sci riffs, hundreds of thousands of concerned people, just noise and numbers somewhere.
Okay but, going forward, as our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon notes,
The article reviews “candidate depression genes” and the 1000 research papers written on them, which turn out to be nothing more than statistical noise. Then he asks the question, will the public distrust science?
“Keller worries that these problems will be used as ammunition to distrust science as a whole. “People ask, Well, if scientists are publishing crap, why should we believe global warming and evolution?” he says. “But there’s a real difference: Some people were skeptical about candidate genes even back in the 1990s. There was never unanimity or consensus in the way there is for human-made global warming and the theory of evolution.”
Why does every journalist give evolution and global warming a pass? The public doesn’t.
Why do journalists believe when the public doesn’t?
Ah, a question the Uncommon Descent News coffee room can answer: The type of people who work as journalists for legacy media today are often just ahead of the next layoff. Most people don’t need their stuff anymore.
They are trying to interpret a world they don’t understand. They cling to Evolution (Darwinism) as TRUTH! because someone told them so. They are often not smart enough to see that any true story would be much more complex. Any interesting story is more complex too.
If the journalists are Americans, the level of complexity they can generally handle is: Orange Man Bad Other regions may feature different specific tests but no test of intellectual capability should exceed that level of complexity.
See also: Fun: Why do experts suffer from a “peculiar blindness”? Epstein: The result: The experts were, by and large, horrific forecasters.
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