Big Science Is Broken

goetheScience is broken. That’s the thesis of a must-read article in First Things magazine, in which William A. Wilson accumulates evidence that a lot of published research is false. But that’s not even the worst part. Advocates of the existing scientific research paradigm usually smugly declare that while some published conclusions are surely false, the scientific method has “self-correcting mechanisms” that ensure that, eventually, the truth will prevail. Unfortunately for all of us, Wilson makes a convincing argument that those self-correcting mechanisms are broken. –Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The Week, 18 April 2016

At its best, science is a human enterprise with a superhuman aim: the discovery of regularities in the order of nature, and the discerning of the consequences of those regularities. We’ve seen example after example of how the human element of this enterprise harms and damages its progress, through incompetence, fraud, selfishness, prejudice, or the simple combination of an honest oversight or slip with plain bad luck. When cultural trends attempt to render science a sort of religion-less clericalism, scientists are apt to forget that they are made of the same crooked timber as the rest of humanity and will necessarily imperil the work that they do. The greatest friends of the Cult of Science are the worst enemies of science’s actual practice. –William A. Wilson, First Things, May 2016

Trust in the news media is being eroded by perceptions of inaccuracy and bias, fueled in part by Americans’ skepticism about what they read on social media. Just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public’s view of other institutions. The poll shows that accuracy clearly is the most important component of trust. Nearly 90 percent of Americans say it’s extremely or very important that the media get their facts correct, according to the study. Readers also are looking for balance: Are there enough sources so they can get a rounded picture of what they are reading. –Carole Feldman and Emily Swanson, Associated Press, 18 April 2016

Bringing drought and increased temperatures, climate change has been widely portrayed as a force that will leave staple food crops struggling in many areas where they are grown today. But a new study has shown that increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may actually lead to greater yields of key crops like wheat, rice and soybeans. –Abigail Beal, Daily Mail, 18 April 2016

In the hours before they took the stage for their March 29 press conference, Democratic attorneys general received a secret briefing from two top environmentalists on pursuing climate change dissenters. Peter Frumhoff of the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Climate Accountability Institute’s Matt Pawa spent 45 minutes each providing talking points behind the scenes on “the imperative of taking action now” and “climate change litigation,” according to a cache of emails released over the weekend by the free market Energy & Environmental Legal Institute. For climate change groups, the New York press event was the culmination of four years of planning and advocacy in support of an explosive proposition: using the legal system to link fossil fuel firms and others challenging the catastrophic global warming consensus to fraud and even racketeering, the emails and other documents show. The effort paid off. –Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, 17 April 2016

What explains our insatiable appetite for stories about shortages? Ever since Thomas Malthus warned of imminent food shortages and mass starvation in 1779, the spectre of a Malthusian resource catastrophe has resurfaced among each new generation of pessimists. –Jason Kirby, Macleans, 16 April 2016

Comments (4)

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    [i]”The greatest friends of the Cult of Science are the worst enemies of science’s actual practice. –William A. Wilson”[/i]

    Speaking of cults, The Union of Concerned Scientists belong at the top. Simply placing the word “concerned” next to “scientists” does not confirm the nobility they seek to portray.

    Yet these committed political activist scientists are only the tip of the ice berg. For every one of these true activists there are probably at least ten to a hundred who have simply been swept up in the peer pressure, academic xenophobia, and staggering biased grant funding that accompanies the cult.

    Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all purveyors of man made climate change disaster are in on the strategic planning. Many simply lack the perspective to appreciate how they have been manipulated.

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    David Lewis


    Don’t forget that science has made many significant discoveries in medicine and understanding how our world works. There is no doubt that science isn’t perfect. What is really bad, especially for the self correcting process, is when standard scientific processes or concepts are not followed.

    The standard scientific process is to compare the theory to data, and when they do not match modify or scrap the theory. The data does not match the UN climate models, but for political reasons they refuse to modify these models to fit the data.

    I’m not making a statement on gun control but there is another example of scientific concepts not being followed. Where ever a vector is found in a host, almost always there is disease present. Malaria is an example in that if the protozoa are in a person normally they either have or have had the disease. Other organisms, such our enteric bacteria, are normally present and usually do not cause a disease, therefore they are not vectors. However, these same bacteria occasionally cause a fatal infection.

    In a study of gun control, the Center for Disease Control did a study assuming firearms are a vector. In doing so they violated a basic epidemiological concept that a vector is normally associated with a disease. With a very low percentage of homes with firearms having problems related to guns, they more closely match the data of our enteric bacteria and are in no way a vector. Here again, we have tax payer dollars funding a study that corrupted science for political purposes.

    Many liberals have the attitude that the ends justify the means. As such, we can expect them to continue to degrade science to serve their political causes.

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    Simon Ruszczak


    The law is broken. They should be prosecuted for fraud, jailed, and monies gained, confiscated.

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    USA AG’s credibility just took a major nose dive . Government employees using their positions to act as lobbyists for one of the biggest scams in history . No wonder voters want an outsider.They have lost faith in people like those AG’s who use an oh we are so green pretense to go after companies that might stand in the way of more $$billion dollar give a way’s to companies that don’t exist without tax payers propping them up till they flame out . Guaranteed the high paid smurfs never missed a great big fat pay check while they nose dived these companies .
    How many schools ,parks ,seniors residences etc could have been built with the $$ Billions given or guaranteed to “clean companies ” that have folded and walked away ?

    And where are the media ? Showing why they are no longer relevant . Six % believe them ? That says it all .

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