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Science Cannot Police Itself
Discovery News ^ | December 7, 2009 | Bruce Chapman

Posted on 12/08/2009 8:26:34 AM PST by GodGunsGuts

In his new book, The Deniable Darwin (Discovery Institute Press, 2009), published just before the ClimateGate scandal broke, mathematician David Berlinski explained that scientists should not be trusted to check themselves--no more than anyone else on the planet, and maybe less so, since grant money is involved. Now he writes on his blog, "I Told You So."

From The Deniable Darwin:

My own view, repeated in virtually all of my essays, is that the sense of skepticism engendered by the sciences would be far more appropriately directed toward the sciences than toward anything else. It is not a view that has engendered wide-spread approval. The sciences require no criticism, many scientists say, because the sciences comprise a uniquely self-critical institution, with questionable theories and theoreticians passing constantly before stern appellate review. Judgment is unrelenting. And impartial. Individual scientists may make mistakes, but like the Communist Party under Lenin, science is infallible because its judgments are collective. Critics are not only unwelcome, they are unneeded. The biologist Paul Gross has made himself the master of this attitude and invokes it on every conceivable occasion.

Now no one doubts that scientists are sometimes critical of themselves. Among astrophysicists, backbiting often leads to backstabbing. The bloodletting that ensues is on occasion salutary. But the process of peer review by which grants are funded and papers assigned to scientific journals, is, by its very nature, an undertaking in which a court reviews its own decisions and generally finds them good. It serves the useful purpose of settling various scores, but it does not – and it cannot – achieve the ends that criticism is intended to serve.

If the scientific critic finds himself needed wherever he goes, like a hanging judge he finds himself unwelcome wherever he appears, all the more reason, it seems to me, that he really should get around as much as possible.



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1 posted on 12/08/2009 8:26:34 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: metmom; DaveLoneRanger; editor-surveyor; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; MrB; GourmetDan; Fichori; ...

“Science Cannot Police Itself”...especially government science!!!


2 posted on 12/08/2009 8:28:29 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

IBT.... you know.

And this time I’m sure...


3 posted on 12/08/2009 8:32:28 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

A cautionary tale for those who would make medical science even more beholden to the gummit than it is already.


4 posted on 12/08/2009 8:35:08 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America.)
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To: metmom

This time there is no doubt, you made it in before the Creation Opposition Groupies (COGs). You’re fast, Metmom! Very fast!!!


5 posted on 12/08/2009 8:35:14 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts
In his new book, The Deniable Darwin (Discovery Institute Press, 2009), published just before the ClimateGate scandal broke, mathematician David Berlinski explained that scientists should not be trusted to check themselves--no more than anyone else on the planet, and maybe less so, since grant money is involved.

Scientists are not exempt from all the human foibles the rest of us are, no matter how objective they claim to be, how pure their motives supposedly are in the search for *truth* or whatever it is they're currently claiming to look for, no matter how intellectually superior they try to pass themselves off as.

There's simply too much to be gained by lying. We don't trust politicians for the same reason.

6 posted on 12/08/2009 8:36:31 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Follow the grant money.....


7 posted on 12/08/2009 8:36:57 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Far too many “scientists” are little more than agenda driven, radical leftists and whores for government handouts. Imagine what the truly great and talented scientists of the past would think of these brainless thugs.


8 posted on 12/08/2009 8:38:06 AM PST by Oldpuppymax (AGENDA OF THE LEFT EXPOSED)
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To: metmom

Lack of trust is becoming institutionalized in our society. It’s the only sensible approach, and it’s really sad to see it come to this.


9 posted on 12/08/2009 8:38:30 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Play the Race Card -- lose the game.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Indeed...climategate adds some emphasis to the point. However, do not throw the baby out with the (admittedly smelly) bathwater. Science has made incredible discoveries, added insights and developed awe-inspiring products (e.g., drugs, space ships, the Sham Wow) to help humankind. Scientists are human, though...


10 posted on 12/08/2009 8:39:14 AM PST by Pharmboy (The Stone Age did not end because they ran out of stones...)
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To: GodGunsGuts

No it can’t.


11 posted on 12/08/2009 8:49:27 AM PST by sickoflibs ( "It's not the taxes, the redistribution is the government spending you demand stupid")
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To: metmom

Exactly, as if any structure or method can cure the excesses of man’s inherently sinful nature. It was in part this very recognition that prompted our founders set up a government with separate powers, all checking on each other, and all jealous of their delegated powers....and not even that was enough to prevent man’s sin from finding a way to muck things up!


12 posted on 12/08/2009 8:49:57 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: Pharmboy
I think there are very few anti-Evolution people who actually oppose science in any sort of all-encompassing manner.

I love science. I love technology. I'm constantly amazed at the wonderful truths which we discover about this amazing world.

I'll even (for the sake of discussion) grant that the mechanism of evolution (one species giving rise to a different species) COULD be true. But I have a problem with much of the information pushed by Evolutionists, and I resent (very much) the notion that the unproven worldview of Evolution is pushed, and pushed, and pushed throughout every government school, while the notion that we were all created by God is completely banned.

This whole "settled science" business and the "We're right, and you people are crazy, so shut up already" attitude is NOT doing science any favors.

13 posted on 12/08/2009 8:51:25 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Play the Race Card -- lose the game.)
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To: Pharmboy

Yeah there’s plenty of good science being done and it can usually be found where there is healthy debate. That debate is exactly what was missing from climatology.

Personally I suspect many of these climatologists were sipplying the data they were paid to provide. When we hear that General Electric was doing research, I suspect much of that research was done by colleges on grant money. If a Climatologist didn’t provide what GE or other agenda drivers didn’t want to hear, they lost funding and a climatologist who would provide it gets the funding. The net result was the death of debate.


14 posted on 12/08/2009 8:52:22 AM PST by cripplecreek (Seniors, the new shovel ready project under socialized medicine.)
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exactly, all the little evos who use that pathetic whine about science being ‘self correcting’, uh-huh...this climate change, another movement masquerading as ‘science’, has had years to ‘self correct’, but hasnt until real people who know lies, POINTED IT OUT TO EVERYONE ELSE...

hmmmm....what a joke.

now the evos will claim their ‘science’ is above such subterfuge....HAHAAHAHAHAHHAHAH please.....i almost laughed my coffee out through my nose just typing that one....


15 posted on 12/08/2009 8:53:22 AM PST by raygunfan
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To: Pharmboy

One potentially good thing that could come out of this, once American’s become thoroughly fed up with being taxed and regulated half to death (without representation), is a movement of angry Americans with torches and pitchforks, where every butcher, baker and candlestick maker comes out of the woodwork, and lay siege to the EPA through their elected representatives, pulling it apart brick by brick, until there isn’t enough left of it to put under a microscope!


16 posted on 12/08/2009 8:55:04 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: Oldpuppymax

The brainless thugs would turn on him, close ranks, and destroy his career, and history would never learn of him.


17 posted on 12/08/2009 8:56:38 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

Science does just fine. It is when the politicians get involved that everything goes to Hell.


18 posted on 12/08/2009 8:58:12 AM PST by CodeToad (If it weren't for physics and law enforcement I'd be unstoppable!)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Science does just fine. It is when the politicians get involved that everything goes to Hell.


19 posted on 12/08/2009 8:58:17 AM PST by CodeToad (If it weren't for physics and law enforcement I'd be unstoppable!)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Coming from a source who’s very name is a fraud. very good.


20 posted on 12/08/2009 9:01:46 AM PST by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: CodeToad
From my perspective, the notion that there is no Higher Power, the idea that man is just a random natural occurence of biology is something which is largely powered by the worldview of Evolution.

This has had tremendous political ramifications. None good.

21 posted on 12/08/2009 9:04:04 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Play the Race Card -- lose the game.)
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To: CodeToad; GodGunsGuts

Science did better before the grant money became available.


22 posted on 12/08/2009 9:09:54 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: GodGunsGuts; All

Oh really?

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2402937/posts


23 posted on 12/08/2009 9:11:30 AM PST by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: ClearCase_guy; CodeToad

It again becomes a matter of separating the scientific theory of evolution from the ideology of Darwinism.

And for some reason, most evos seem to be incapable of that.

Rejecting Darwinism and it’s ideologies is not rejecting the theory itself; it’s rejecting the misuse and abuse of the theory for political and social gains and it’s misuse as a weapon with which to discredit and malign those who don’t adhere to it, be they IDers or creationists, or just people who aren’t sure.


24 posted on 12/08/2009 9:13:34 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: xcamel

The saying is that there is a sucker born every minute and you continue to prove that you took a couple days worth of minutes all at once.


25 posted on 12/08/2009 9:17:11 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom

“Scientists are not exempt from all the human foibles the rest of us are, no matter how objective they claim to be, how pure their motives supposedly are in the search for *truth* or whatever it is they’re currently claiming to look for, no matter how intellectually superior they try to pass themselves off as.

There’s simply too much to be gained by lying. We don’t trust politicians for the same reason.”

Heresy! Sacrilege! (of course you’re right, but...) Blasphemy!


26 posted on 12/08/2009 9:39:45 AM PST by Leonard210 (Tagline? We don't need no stinkin' tagline.)
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To: metmom

Well, that issue is not a matter for scientists. They seek knowledge through a variety of means. Anyone holding a religious view that keeps them from seeking knowledge is a theologian, not a scientist.


27 posted on 12/08/2009 9:44:21 AM PST by CodeToad (If it weren't for physics and law enforcement I'd be unstoppable!)
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To: CodeToad

Sure it’s an issue for scientists.

For one thing, many of them participate and vocally support the actions of those who misuse science, and the ToE so they have already involved themselves in it.

The other is that if they see someone doing that, they need to speak out against it, otherwise, by their silence they are condoning that.

They can’t ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist or that it will go away.


28 posted on 12/08/2009 10:00:30 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: CodeToad

Actually, your comment proves the point of the article.

By denying that crossing the line between Darwinism and the ToE is an matter for scientists, you are demonstrating that there is no policing of science by those practicing it.


29 posted on 12/08/2009 10:03:48 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Thanks for the ping!


30 posted on 12/08/2009 10:29:39 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: GodGunsGuts

With the supposition that the police are honest.


31 posted on 12/08/2009 10:32:09 AM PST by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: metmom
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.

Science did a pretty good job of self-correcting until the politicians got control. The opposition to AGW is being led by scientists whose voices have been suppressed (Lindzen, Svensmark,Plimer, etc.).
Read The Deniers: The World Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming.
32 posted on 12/08/2009 10:47:15 AM PST by Hiddigeigei ("Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish," said Dionysus - Euripides)
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To: count-your-change; GodGunsGuts
With the supposition that the police are honest.

And the body that polices science is what?

Peer review?

33 posted on 12/08/2009 11:04:28 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom
At the present I think its only a relatively few who, for the most part, examine the pronouncements of other scientists because they disagree not as a quality control body. I don't think peer review can be relied upon.

If some body of peers was set up to police science would it not be subject to the corruption as we see now?

34 posted on 12/08/2009 11:18:29 AM PST by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

I once heard the following account:

Louis Agassiz, the greatly admired and much-beloved professor at Harvard, gave an impassioned lecture attacking Darwin largely on religious grounds. When he had finished and left the lecture hall, his students, who out of courtesy had remained seated, sat for some time in silence.
Finally, one student said in a small but audible voice, “I don’t know, but Darwin makes sense to me.”
There was a general murmur of assent, and the students rose and left the room.

Science can correct itself, if left alone by politicians and religionists.


35 posted on 12/08/2009 11:18:48 AM PST by Hiddigeigei ("Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish," said Dionysus - Euripides)
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To: count-your-change

My point exactly.

And that’s exactly what’s happening.


36 posted on 12/08/2009 11:26:38 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom

“The other is that if they see someone doing that, they need to speak out against it, otherwise, by their silence they are condoning that.”

No way. I’m not going to go out publicly every time some nitwit talks and provide an opposing viewpoint. That line of thought is impractical and illogical. They made the statements, you can hold THEM accountable.


37 posted on 12/08/2009 11:30:17 AM PST by CodeToad (If it weren't for physics and law enforcement I'd be unstoppable!)
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To: metmom
Scientists are not exempt from all the human foibles the rest of us are, no matter how objective they claim to be, how pure their motives supposedly are in the search for *truth* or whatever it is they're currently claiming to look for, no matter how intellectually superior they try to pass themselves off as.

What do you propose think we should do about it? Eliminate peer review?

38 posted on 12/08/2009 11:33:22 AM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: CodeToad

This article is about scientists policing themselves.

You refuse to police science.

This is exactly what the article is dealing with.

You keep proving its point.


39 posted on 12/08/2009 11:34:28 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom

“you are demonstrating that there is no policing of science by those practicing it.”

How did I possibly demonstrate that?? You simply have a position and will lie, cheat and steal to try to shoehorn everyone and anything into it.

Scientists practicing religion are not acting as scientists, and if you want to buy into their BS then go ahead and do so or not do so. Just because someone is a professional scientist and says something doesn’t mean that reflects on all scientists no more than just because you as a Freeper say something the rest of us agree with you and it reflects upon us.

Lumping people together is an intellectually lazy thing to do. Don’t lump people together simply because they have similar business cards.


40 posted on 12/08/2009 11:34:49 AM PST by CodeToad (If it weren't for physics and law enforcement I'd be unstoppable!)
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To: tacticalogic
What do you propose think we should do about it? Eliminate peer review?

What's the reason to keep it?

41 posted on 12/08/2009 11:35:35 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: CodeToad

Save yourself a headache - don’t feed the professional troll’s assistant.


42 posted on 12/08/2009 11:36:35 AM PST by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: metmom

“You refuse to police science.”

“police science”? What the Hell is that? A demand we return to Papal oversight? I am a scientist. You try to “police” me and I’ll punch your sorry ass straight to Hell. Just who do you think you are, Ms. Busybody, God?


43 posted on 12/08/2009 11:37:19 AM PST by CodeToad (If it weren't for physics and law enforcement I'd be unstoppable!)
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To: metmom
What's the reason to keep it?

The same reason we keep laws against murder and have courts and trials? We have those, and yet people still commit murder.

44 posted on 12/08/2009 11:39:45 AM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: metmom
What's the reason to keep it (peer review)?
Without peer-review, the editors of the publications, and the people who control them, would decide who gets published. Peer review at least requires the reviewer to state reasons for rejection.
45 posted on 12/08/2009 11:42:21 AM PST by Hiddigeigei ("Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish," said Dionysus - Euripides)
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To: metmom; xcamel

I’m a bit slow on the uptake. I just read camel’s silliness and it was dullifying.


46 posted on 12/08/2009 11:48:23 AM PST by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Its “Snap Your Finger” time again.


47 posted on 12/08/2009 11:49:30 AM PST by Allen In Texas Hill Country
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To: metmom

Could you please explain your understanding of the peer-review process?


48 posted on 12/08/2009 11:55:14 AM PST by Ira_Louvin (Go tell them people lost in sin, Theres a higher power ,They need not fear the works of men.)
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To: tacticalogic

Just what good has peer review done for science?

Has it stopped the fraud?

It didn’t do much to stop the AGW scam and Climategate.

It got in the way of getting a treatment for ulcers when the first researchers discovered that bacteria caused it.

http://www.aips.net.au/98.html

“The peer response showed the same scepticism that greeted Warren’s initial observations, and for a number of years the majority of the medical profession dismissed the hypothesis.”

And for years people suffered needlessly.

The researcher, Marshall, reached the point of actually infecting himself to prove his point. That’s desperation. Peer review really worked there, didn’t it? He came to the wrong conclusion, one that went against prevailing scientific consensus and could go nowhere with it.

They didn’t evaluate his work based on the quality, but on the conformity to dogma.


49 posted on 12/08/2009 11:59:27 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom
Just what good has peer review done for science?

What good have laws and courts and jails done?

Has it stopped the fraud?

Have laws and courts and jails stopped crime?

It didn’t do much to stop the AGW scam and Climategate.

And OJ got away with murder.

You're demanding that they either make it perfect, or tear it all down, knowing it can never be made perfect.

50 posted on 12/08/2009 12:04:17 PM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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