09 October 2016

Quote Of The Day

"The basic gambit of the Western mode of scientific inquiry is that the competition of ideas will ultimately produce scholarly truth, or at least something close to it. This process must be decentralized and unencumbered by political dogma."


--Mob Awakens at Johns Hopkins

It simply doesn't matter what topic of science we're talking about, the above has been virtually abandoned.

Over and over I've been watching situations where the data contradicts the conclusions, yet the conclusion is let to stand.

People who point out the data disagrees with the conclusion are attacked in very personal ways.  What's missing in these attacks is actual refutation of the data.  If the data is refuted at all, it's usually attacked by whom presented the data rather than how the data was collected.

When the conclusion is challenged and a different hypothesis is advanced that accounts for this data the old conclusion is repeated ever more loudly and tersely.  The validity of the conclusion almost seems based on the number of different media outlets who've also repeated the assertion.

A perfect example is being linked to at least fifteen web articles on a topic that all source back to a single press agency who reference a single quote by a single scientist agreeing with the conclusion and that quote does not include a title of a scientific paper or study.

UPDATE:

If you will recall, one of the points of academic tenure was to have the FREEDOM to delve into unpopular lines of research without fear of retribution.

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