At The Scientist:But after McLaughlin announced @Sciencing_Bi’s death from COVID-19 several days ago, people began trying to identify her, and her story began to fall apart. Scientists who had considered @Sciencing_Bi an online friend turned from mourning her death to accusing McLaughlin of inventing her outright …
It’s worth noting that we haven’t established that there are even fossil bacteria on Mars. But we are starting to hear more than ever that there are intelligent aliens out there, most recently from Ars Technica and Scientific American. Fundamentally, we have found nothing since the Sixties that truly suggests extraterrestrial civilizations. Nothing. If they want to keep looking, fine. Nobody’s stopping them. But spare us the dramatics.
Wright: What was also not-so-novel about the COVID crisis was its origin in scam or junk science. John Ionnnidis, one of the leading critics of weak scientific work, jumped right in to alert people and policymakers about the many problems with various predictive models but he was largely ignored despite being one of the most highly-cited scientists alive. That is actually not unusual.
St. Onge: For COVID-19, Ferguson predicted 3 million deaths in America unless we basically shut down the economy. Panicked policymakers took his prediction as gospel, dressed as it was in the cloak of science.
Berezow: A loss of credibility, therefore, happens for other reasons. In the case of coronavirus, we believe there are five reasons: Incompetence, waffling, moving the goalposts, disregarding unintended consequences, and being political.
Michael Behe, author of Darwin Devolves, will be speaking on “Design in Virology?” on Friday, 3 pm Eastern (8 pm British time).
The situation poses a threat to science itself. For example, politicians act as though COVID-19 restrictions only matter for some people, not others.
We still urgently need a serious discussion about the role of the “science” expert, as we survey the ruins of our economy. How is that expert different from the crystal ball reader?
On account of stuff he said that is mostly correct and even obvious but exposes the cult of the science expert.
For the record, Uncommon Descent has no official opinion on this mess except to say, yes, a fumigator is badly needed at The Lancet.
Some people may still think that “science” is whatever gets published in a journal. Not any more, that’s for sure.
We’ve been hearing complaints about Lancet and other journals for years. Trust but verify. “Science” is a discipline, not an incantation.
As noted at the article, it’s an open question whether the mind evolved at all and therefore whether evolutionary psychology is any help in understanding it.
Um, yes. A lot of people who want, for whatever reason, to survive and thrive, are going to have a lot of questions hereafter about the thousand shrieking heads of “consensus science.”Before, it wasn’t about anything that mattered so much to us. But, surveying the ruins now…
Statistics analyst Gary Smith: Even if COVID-19 deaths are randomly distributed among the population (and they surely aren’t), data mining will, more likely than not, discover a geographic cluster of victims… (Lots of things can start to appear meaningful.)