Saturday, September 25, 2010

Peer-Review Process Fails Again



The mainstream orthodox scientific establishment, aka the Cult of Consensus, has failed again. This time by publishing work with unrepeatable results. Why are peer-reviewers publishing papers that make claims that are unrepeatable? The answer: because science is a religion.

New York Times: Nobel Laureate Retracts Two Papers Unrelated to Her Prize.

Linda B. Buck, who shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for deciphering the workings of the sense of smell, has retracted two scientific papers after she and her colleagues were unable to repeat the findings.

The retractions, which did not concern the work for which Dr. Buck won the Nobel, were published Thursday on the Web sites of the journals where the papers appeared. One had been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2005, the other in the journal Science in 2006.

“I sincerely apologize for any confusion that its publication may have caused,” Dr. Buck wrote in the retraction of the Science paper.

The retractions follow a separate one, two years ago, of a paper by Dr. Buck that was published in the journal Nature in 2001.

6 comments:

amphicoelias said...

The humanist left does have a pattern of celebrating and elevating their greatest failures. Case in point: Nobel Peace category. If I were her, I would have picked up on that at least 3 years ago and rescinded my Nobel prize along with the papers. And if not then, certainly last year...

Jeffery Keown said...

Coming out of retirement for just a moment, science is getting better at policing itself.

Whereas in 1990, just five of the nearly 690,000 journal articles that were produced worldwide were retracted, [in 2008] the figure was 95 of the 1.4 million papers published. Times Higher Education, 20 August 2009

Weeding out bad papers is part of science. Retractions happen because folks are trying to disprove evidence.

"...in light of new evidence, Original Sin isn't repeatable, we're redacting it. The new version of the Bible will be available to subscribers of the Vatican on Thursday. This new edition will include the changes to the Gospels in line with the Methodist research of 2009.."

I guess the real question here is what should replace peer review? You can bitch about it until you're blue in the face (and do, I'm guessing) but I do not see any suggestions for fixing it.

OilIsMastery said...

Amphicoelias,

Good points.

OilIsMastery said...

Jeffery,

Hi. I missed you...=)

Jeffery Keown said...

My point is that religion has a viewpoint and often kills folks for mere disagreement.

Science is liquid. People are shown to be wrong and corrections are made.

One is clearly superior.

rohit kaushik said...

Peer review shouldn't be the only system in place. While it is certainly effective for people within the system it is as restrictive as any guild system for people outside said system.

Dissertation Peer Review