Skeptical Science: Questionable Data Plagues Scientific Research
By Eric Metaxas
Those who think science is the measure of all truth might want to check the data first.
Here’s a quote for you: “A lot of what is published [in scientific journals] is incorrect.” Care to guess where those words appeared? Not on a website that questions the “consensus of experts on climate change.” Nor do they appear in a publication associated with intelligent design or other critiques of Neo-Darwinism.
They appeared in the April 11, 2015, issue of the Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal.
The writer, Richard Horton, was quoting a participant at a recent symposium on the “reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research.” Specifically, the symposium discussed one of the “most sensitive issues in science today: the idea that something has gone fundamentally wrong with one of our greatest human creations.”
And he’s referring to scientific research—the research that not only purports to tell us how the world works, but, increasingly, how people should order their lives and societies.
As Horton told Lancet readers, “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”
He continues, “In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world.”
We recently saw an example of this in a story about a much-publicized study…
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