A crisis of scientific reproducability

by Outahere 21 Replies latest social current

  • WhatshallIcallmyself

    "and less to discover (obviously)"

    There's far more to discover now! Let's not forget that science doesn't just try to discover but also attempts to understanding something.

    As far as corruption is concerned: there is a lot of money to be made in the next big drug that treats the next big disease... Where there is money there will be corruption...

    As far as the OP is concerned: this all depends on the questions asked and the context that the participants were answering in; we also need to know who they were asking specifically.

  • steve2

    hothabanero, have you got a citation to back up your assertion that most research “is confirmed to be a scam”? Or is this just your opinion?

  • hothabanero

    @Whatshallcallmyself: Look at it this way: There are N things for man to discover about nature (like evolution, or newtons law, and so on). We have discovered some number of them, and so it stands to reason there are now less things to discover.

    @steve2: just look at the references on the previous page. Gad Saad has a lot of material on how bad social sciences are (google him).

  • OrphanCrow
    hot: how bad social sciences are...

    There is a big big stretch between hard science and soft science such as social sciences

    Almost apple and oranges

    Bananas and peaches, anyways

  • LoveUniHateExams

    "scientific research" is all about money - this may be so but the scientific method should not be blamed for any problems.

    Nor should the vast majority of scientists. Most aren't in it purely for the money - that's just a welcome bonus. Most care deeply about their work and research.

  • JeffT

    I grew up around scientific research. My father was an award winning cancer researcher, I did some low-level lab work for him, and later worked for the college of Pharmacy at Washington State University. The fact that something can't be reproduced doesn't mean the work was done wrong, or that the results are incorrect. New information is frequently discovered because different researchers get different results.

    Here's a good example (I worked for a professor involved with this when I was at WSU). In the 1970's the big alternate medicine for cancer was laetrile, also called Vitamin B-17. It was made by a processing fruit pits, usually peaches. It was not approved in the US, there were a lot of clinics selling it in Mexico. (I knew some JW's that went there for treatments, they died.) The FDA was never able to reproduce the results some researchers claimed. What they eventually found was the the biochemistry of fruits from different places varied. Make laetrile from a peach grown in Walla Walla and you got a different chemical compound than you would from one grown in Yakima.

    There wasn't any problem with that the scientists did, they working working with different materials. And since there was no established chemical definition of "laetrile" the results were never reproducible.

  • Perry

    Here is an interesting article on bogus science.

    I am fascinated by those whose lives have been devastated by a cult, who then run toward anything characterized as "science" and swallow the next idea with equal fevor and gullibility.

    Real science is good stuff, it's just not done nearly as often as we would like and certainly is easily confused with bogus science by most.

    In the 20th century, tobacco companies paid millions and receive peer reviewed papers showing scientifically how cigarette smoking was not linked to cancer. We are starting to see the same results oriented studies about marijuana smoking since its regional legalization.

  • WhatshallIcallmyself

    The interesting thing about peer review is not the peer reviewed piece itself but how many times that piece is cited by other scientists in their work; indeed not just how many times (if at all) but by who.

    The charge against science here is serious and makes you wonder just how our knowledge and abilities have progressed if such things are true.

    Well as usual the reality is not quite what is being portrayed in these headline-seeking articles.

    Going back to what I initially stated, it is not what the peer reviewed article is, rather it is all about how it affects the scientific community as a whole. When a research paper is released the idea is to publish the findings of experiments and research so all of that teams peers around the world may benefit from the addition of knowledge in whatever field(s) the research has been undertaken. Good and helpful papers will then be cited as reference points in further experimentation which may further bolster the claims of the original paper (or debunk them) and so on and so forth.

    After a while you will see certain papers being cited by other groups numerous times, particularly those papers at the boundaries of current understandings or those that are particularly useful for numerous avenues of research.

    This is what science is all about after all; the passing on of knowledge

    Contrast that with the types of peer reviewed articles that are only published to give support for a politicians angle or for a corporate need. You will rarely see them being cited at all. And why would that be? Because they exist solely to support that immediate goal and have no value as science in and of itself.

    Scientists know this; Politicians know this; CEOs know this; The layman generally does not...

    This is another reason not to allow yourself to remain scientifically illiterate.

  • ttdtt

    outahere you're a horses ass.

  • Outahere

    You're too modest JeffT. What your father's work brought to us has saved a great many lives. I am a survivor of a blood cancer myself.

    I fear the problem isn't from uncontrolled variables, by the way. At least not mostly. I fear the problem stems from human fallibility. We humans ruin everything.

Share this