July 13, 2018

Self-contradictory term "settled science?"

Dana Mathewson

I'm on the mailing list of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, which writes sensible stuff about "climate change." Here's a recent article which skewers the current peer-review process (and it's about time, sez I):


Is there a more self-contradictory term than "settled science?"

Science should always be open to challenge and investigation. The scientific method demands that conclusions must follow facts. We must never adjust the facts to suit a conclusion.

Sadly, this is not always the case.

We posted anarticle at CFACT.org which highlights how "Stanford University medical professor John Ioannidis, in an interview with Agence France Presse (AFP), blew the lid off the trustworthiness of the peer-review process."

[W]hen studies are replicated, they rarely come up with the same results. Only a third of the 100 studies published in three top psychology journals could be successfully replicated in a large 2015 test,” AFP reported, summarizing Ioannidis’ findings...

According to Ioannidis, the peer-review process guarantees little in terms of trustworthiness even before political agendas compromise the issue.

When only a third of peer-reviewed

studies reach the same results when they are replicated by outside authors, this is a serious problem. Regarding climate change papers, the peer-reviewed papers are likely even less reliable â€" before even considering the inescapably political nature of the topic â€" because many papers address predictions and models for which it is impossible to test the paper’s conclusions against objective evidence. For example, when a scientist invents a climate model predicting rapid global warming or seriously negative future climate impacts, and when a paper summarizing the results of his or her model appears in a peer-reviewed journal, there is no way at the time of publication to compare the climate predictions against real-world observations. This adds an additional level of doubt to the accuracy of global warming predictions published in peer-reviewed science journals. And this is before taking into consideration the inherently political nature of the global warming debate and the political agendas of journal editors and their carefully selected article reviewers.

When science is sound its results
hold up. Repeated experiments reach the same conclusions. There must be no “politicized” or "secret science." Data must be made available for all to scrutinize and there should be no coercion in terms of outcome. The scientific method must never be compromised.

Politics and rent-seeking greed have sadly infected the scientific process, particularly on the issue of climate. Global warming campaigners have treated peer-reviewed academic literature like sacred texts. However, the Climategate scandal revealed warming researchers were working diligently to exclude any science that contradicted their carefully honed, alarmist narrative from the literature.

We should expect more from the scientific community.

Science is tooimportant to accept less.
For nature and people too,

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