Has Something Gone Wrong With the Scientific Method?

by metatron 7 Replies latest jw friends

  • metatron



    This crisis has been brewing for some time but not receiving public attention. There is some evidence that placebo responses may be growing!

    You can flame me as you wish but I believe this will evolve into a crisis that may effectively END new drug approvals. It may also force materialist scientists to confront the idea that reality is not completely objective. I have liked Rupert Sheldrake's notion that "laws" in the universe are just sort of "habits" that the universe retains.


  • John_Mann

    So let's go to learn new things in Hogwarts!

  • Satanus

    Or, perhaps the original tests were fudged. The drug companies slanted the results, and got the medical profession to follow along, basically scamming everybody. Now, they wanna start over w a new generation (remember that doctrine from some where else?) of drugs and treatments that will REALLY work, THIS time. And, of course, keep the huge profits coming in. Sheep need shearing, once their wool grows back.


  • eric356

    Or, you could read more than one opinion on a topic:

    Is the decline real, or is science just correcting itself?

    Science is not dead

    NeuroLogica Blog

    Anyone who has actually done "science", where you are running experiments, taking data, and analyzing the data, will understand how small changes in statistical technique can sometimes radically affect the "significance" of a phenomenon. This was one of the issues in the late 80s / early 90s scandals that happened in life sciences and medical research. There are a ton of textbook examples known in the field of sociology of science where people have lied or fooled themselves with statistical tools. Also, anyone who is part of the skeptic community and looked into ESP research is quite familiar with regression to the mean, random flukes, and results on the edge of statistical significance.

  • darthfader

    Human drug trials go through extreme controls to remain objective - yet there is still bias in the process. Any "placebo" effects are likely the result of human bias. Human bias can come from the test givers as well as the test takers. There may be nothing wrong with the process, everyone follows the rules, but a tiny bit of emotion can shift the trial participant's outcome. It just means that when re-resting certain drugs, the administrators of the test are not in the "same emotional state" as the prevoius ones. The original tests may have been effected by the optimism of the administrators. This "natural" optimism will be hard to reproduce.

  • bohm

    eric beat me to it. lesson: science is hard. if you are not doing it right you might get wrong results. statistics can be subtle. science still got us out of the cave and to the moon, and will continue to benefit humanity. news at 11.


  • BizzyBee

    Very interesting article; I was thinking about this is relation to the latest pop-science discovery:

    Chemical Signal in Women's Tears Turnoff for Men
    Study Finds Men Were Not Empathetic and Less Sexually Attracted to Women When Sniffing Human Tears
    Play CBS Video Tears Make You Less Attractive
    Dr. Jennifer Ashton has the latest on a new study that claims there is a chemical in a woman's tears that are a turn-off to men.
    This undated handout photo provided by the journal Science shows a donor woman watching sad films in isolation, using a mirror to capture tears into a vial. (AP Photo/Science)
    (AP) WASHINGTON - If a crying woman's red nose isn't a big enough turnoff to a man, a surprising experiment found another reason: Tears of sadness may temporarily lower his testosterone level.
    Those tears send a chemical signal as the man gets close enough to sniff them - even though there's no discernible odor, say researchers from Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science.

    This research seems like a natural candidate for the "decline effect."

  • Vidiot

    metatron – “ http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/12/13/101213fa_fact_lehrer

    Terrific. You gotta know that (just like with the discovery of soft tissue inside T-rex fossils) the anti-science/Creationist bunch are gonna take this ball and run for the endzone with it. In fact, fifty bucks says this article will get cited in a WT publication to cast doubt on “worldy” science in general, and evolutionary science specifically, even though it's not necessarily related.

    metatron – “You can flame me as you wish…”

    Wouldn’t dream of it.

    metatron – “It may also force materialist scientists to confront the idea that reality is not completely objective. I have liked Rupert Sheldrake's notion that "laws" in the universe are just sort of "habits" that the universe retains.”

    Hmm, hadn’t thought of that. I gotta admit, that aspect of it is kinda interesting.

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