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Gary Smith

At Mind Matters News: Detecting BS data: If it’s too good to be true, it probably is

Business prof Gary Smith: A recent Wall Street Journal article shows a near-perfect link between inflation and money. But a link that near-perfect raises suspicions. Precise predictions of human behavior are implausible and rarely match up to the far more complicated reality. Read More ›

That time they invented scientists as well as research papers…

The Googlebot soon found the papers and [fictional] Antkare was credited with 101 papers that had been cited by 101 papers, which propelled him to 21st on Google’s list of the most cited scientists of all time, behind Freud but well ahead of Einstein, and first among computer scientists. Read More ›

Artificial intelligence cannot produce a Theory of Everything

Gary Smith concludes, “Computers are much better than humans at curve fitting but still far worse at devising models that help us understand and predict the world.” Read More ›

Rob Sheldon on Darwinism and the problem of why intelligent women marry less intelligent men

If regression toward the mean is a nearly universal tendency, how could evolution proceed via sexual selection? Outliers would tend to get reabsorbed far more often than not. Read More ›

Why “statistical significance” is corrupting science

Smith: When I was a young assistant professor at Yale, one of my senior colleagues, Nobel Laureate James Tobin, wryly observed that the bad old days when researchers had to do calculations by hand were actually a blessing. The effort was so great that people thought hard before calculating. They put theory before data. Today, with terabytes of data and lightning-fast computers, it is too easy to calculate first, think later. Read More ›

COVID-19 and Vitamin D – data vs noise in science

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.) Read More ›