Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Why Scientific 'Truth' So Often Turns Out Wrong.

This post is motivated with John Allen Paulos's article The Decline Effect and Why Scientific 'Truth' So Often Turns Out Wrong.

In AWT this phenomena can be of real emergent nature and it manifests itself with switching of intersubjectively accepted opinion into dual perspective, whenever the density of facts increases up to certain level. It's analogous to dispersive spreading of waves at the water surface, which is switching its character with distance from longitudinal into transverse waves and back into longitudinal waves again. It corresponds the layered fractally nested character of Universe and observable reality.

For example, from terrestrial perspective the epicycle model of solar system appears relevant. With increasing scope this model has been replaced with heliocentric model but now the evolution of galactic arms can be described with epicycle model again. It's just the number of observable objects, which makes epicycle or heliocentric model more relevant.

After all, the acceptation/refusal of aether model is of the same emergent evolution. Before some time old Greeks believed in Aether, later (Newton) this concept has been replaced with concept of absolute space. In 19th century the aether based models were quite popular again, but they're were replaced later with relativity model of space-time. Now the aether model is returning into physics again with model of Higgs field, which is responsible for particle mass.

The emergent character of observable reality can be understood by example of compression of gas, which is changing into fluid or even solid during this. The  density fluctuations of newly formed phase are behaving like another generation of gas particles and when the compression continues, they're condensing and changing into nested fluid phase and solid again. The newly formed phase is embedded into previous generation of matter and this process can be repeated many times.


I presume, the same evolution occurs during pilling and condensation of facts into theories in hyperdimensional causal space. I Czech we have a proverb: "Stokrát nic umořilo osla" which roughly means "A hundred times nothing killed the donkey". The meaning of this proverb is, even the smallest chores are tiresome (if there is too many).

262 comments:

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Zephir said...

How to Burst the "Filter Bubble" that Protects Us from Opposing Views

Zephir said...

Stanford opening new lab to study bad science

Zephir said...

What's wrong with modern physics—and could alternative theories explain our observations of the universe? Sir Roger Penrose calls string theory a "fashion," quantum mechanics "faith," and cosmic inflation a "fantasy." Penrose is a well-respected physicist who co-authored a seminal paper on black holes with Stephen Hawking.

Zephir said...

Exposing the flaws in Big Bang model is followed with censorship of ArXiv preprint repository

Zephir said...

Conspiracy Theorists Get Paper Withdrawn Through Bogus Legal Threat

Zephir said...

Removing the documentation of the null results lends itself to people recreating the same flawed wheels over and over? That seems like something that should have been solved a long time ago as a common sense problem.

Zephir said...

An extensive review of the literature on peer review in 1998 identified problems. They found that there is a low level of reliability and agreement over the quality of submitted papers, largely because of a lack of objective evaluation criteria. Even worse, reviewers make mistake in their evaluation and often accept papers they should have rejected. As a direct consequence, established journals are usually biased against innovative work. Some have claimed the peer-review system means academic work can simply end up losing its integrity during the review process, and can result in trivial and boring research. On a more positive note, when reviews are perceived of quality by authors, they tend to generate more citations, which is a measure of the number of times a research paper is mentioned in other journals and is considered a mark of quality. Also, reliability is not necessary for an efficient review process – often it is the process of peer review itself that contributes to improving the paper. Reviewers play a developmental role in the construction of knowledge, and the energy they deploy in this process is primarily driven by moral motives rather than any material interest.

Zephir said...

Pseudophysics: The New High Priesthood The situation, when the mainstream physics is pushing unverified ideas for years (strings, SUSY, WIMPs or multiverse) is the consequence of the fact, it's increasingly difficult and expensive to verify existing hypothesis. On the other hand, the findings which don't play with mainstream paradigm well (cold fusion, scalar waves, magnetic motors and another overunity devices, etc.) are ignored for years as well.
This both illustrates the contemporary situation, in which the physical reality is formulated with beliefs in theory, not with experimental facts. This belief is occupation driven: the route which provides more grants and job for physicists is always proffered, the ideas and findings which threatens their existence are ignored if not denied.

Zephir said...

The ignorance manifests always in two dual ways: with noncritical ignorance and skepticism of ideas and findings which don't play well with mainstream opinion and with uncritical promotion and support of these intersubjectivelly accepted ones. It turns out astronomers are susceptible to prejudice, bias and wrong-thinking, just like everybody else (this is a writeup about recent study: "On the Benefits of Promoting Diversity of Ideas". Of course, this article is still very tame as it points only to marginal examples: the biggest blunders of contemporary astronomy (Big Bang and inflationary hypothesis) are still waiting for their recognition.

Zephir said...

SAGE Publications busts “peer review and citation ring,” 60 papers retracted from the Journal of Vibration and Control

Zephir said...

Lawsuit: CSUN Scientist Fired After Soft Tissue Found On Dinosaur Fossil

Zephir said...

Different people see diversity in the tech field as different things. Minorities were found to believe a group was diverse...only when their own race was well represented. If another minority group was well represented, the diversity was ignored by the other minorities.

Zephir said...

Do we write too many papers?
Yes, [we must stop the avalanche of low quality research](http://chronicle.com/article/We-Must-Stop-the-Avalanche-of/65890/), [Half of academic studies are never read more than three people](http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/half-academic-studies-are-never-read-more-three-people-180950222/), [why we have so much Duh science](http://beta.slashdot.org/story/152628)?
Nope, [only 1% of scientists manages to write more than one article per year](http://news.sciencemag.org/scientific-community/2014/07/1-scientific-publishing).
So where the problem is? In overemployment of scientists - we have too many of them, given the scope of contemporary research, the utilization of which advances the capabilities of human society by many years. Ironically enough, just the areas of research which are most important with respect of future progress today are most ignored with physicists and effectively maintained with amateurs only (cold fusion, magnetic motors, scalar wave research, etc.). For physicists it's apparently much more acceptable to observe, how the various nations are fighting for residuals of oil than to deal with research, which seemingly contradicts their pet theories.

Zephir said...


Respected Canadian medical journal that was sold to offshore owners last year is now printing scientific junk for hire, but still trading on its original good name.

Zephir said...

[url=http://majesticforest.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/papers-that-triumphed-over-their-rejections/]List of papers, which triumphed over their rejection[/url] The original publication of Higgs mechanism belongs into them. It's entertaining to read the dismissive remarks of their editors.

Zephir said...

Use of 'language of deceit' betrays scientific fraud

Zephir said...

Article on what "scientific consensus" is and what it actually means on Ars Technica.

Zephir said...

[url=https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/10/04/glut-postdoc-researchers-stirs-quiet-crisis-science/HWxyErx9RNIW17khv0MWTN/story.html]Glut of postdoc researchers stirs a quiet crisis in science[/url]

Zephir said...

Research is a huge enterprise now; it attracts riff-raff, who never would have survived as scientists in the 1960s and 1970s. There is no doubt that highly capable scientists currently participate in the grant-review process. Likewise, unfortunately, study sections are undoubtedly contaminated by riff-raff.

Zephir said...

What Really Drives Academic Citations? Argumentation, Social Alignment, Mercantile Alignment, and Data

Zephir said...

Failure to fulfill the Galileo test - a comparison to the E-Cat skeptics regarding the recent results. If you refuse to look through the telescope then you have failed the Galileo test; you have stopped being a scientist and practising a religion.

Zephir said...

Academic reputation affects citation count

Zephir said...

The Debunking Handbook is a freely available guide to debunking myths by John Cook and Stephan Lewandowsky.

Zephir said...

Can Scientific Belief Go Too Far? To talk about faith in the context of science seems quite blasphemous. Isn't science the antithesis of faith, given that it is supposedly based on certainties, on the explicit verification of hypotheses?

Zephir said...

Another paid-for peer-review: "These results indicate that this [red yeast rice] nutraceutical approach shows a lipid-lowering activity comparable to pravastatin treatment." Funded by the makers of ArmoLipid.

Zephir said...

Shakespeare: There is no darkness but ignorance

Zephir said...

Should I stay or should I go now? The postdoc mobility myth
Can post-publication peer review endure? The process may mean greater scrutiny but is it legally viable?

Zephir said...

Shakespeare: There is no darkness but ignorance

Zephir said...

The peer-review scam:When a handful of authors were caught reviewing their own papers, it exposed weaknesses in modern publishing systems.

Zephir said...

Open access is tiring out peer reviewers

Zephir said...

"83% of the Psychology/Education articles with four or more experiments that were published in Science (2005–2012) have an excess of success, which suggests that their results are too good to be true."

Zephir said...

Why we cling to beliefs when they’re threatened by facts

Zephir said...

Library of Congress: Books must follow the science and not the science books

Zephir said...

Top medical journals filter out poor papers but often reject future citation champions

Zephir said...

Competition For Research Funds Can Kill You

Zephir said...

Our System Is So Broken, Almost No Patented Discoveries Ever Get Used

Zephir said...

The FDA buries evidence of fraud in medical trials.

Zephir said...

Science behind commonly used anti-depressants appears to be backwards

Zephir said...

Safety, life-saving efficacy of statins have been exaggerated, says scientist Statins produce a dramatic reduction in cholesterol levels, but have failed to substantially improve cardiovascular outcomes, they add, stating that 'statistical deception' has been used to inflate claims about their effectiveness, which has shown that statins benefit only about 1% of the population. This means that only one out of 100 people treated with a statin will have one less heart attack. Statin researchers, however, don't present the 1% effect to the public. Instead they transform the 1% effect using another statistic, called the "relative risk," which creates the appearance that statins benefit 30-50% of the population.The authors emphasized that low cholesterol levels related to statin use have frequently been associated with an increased risk of cancer..

Zephir said...

People are more willing to dismiss evidence from psychology than brain science

Zephir said...

When I received the reviews, the editors had asked me to do something of questionable ethics. They had asked me to add citations from those journals to my paper for no reason.

Zephir said...

Crisis of con-science

Zephir said...


Study estimates $28 billion a year spent on irreproducible biomedical research

Zephir said...

Research Papers: Who's Uncited Now?

Zephir said...

It takes 150 days to peer review a manuscript submitted to PLOS journals, study finds

Zephir said...

A Crisis at the Edge of Physics DO
physicists need empirical evidence to confirm their theories?

Zephir said...

Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science and
journals

Zephir said...

Vitamin D supplements don't protect bones of older women, study finds

Zephir said...

A list of inaccurate, misleading, misused, ambiguous, and logically confused words and phrases: Fifty psychological and psychiatric terms to avoid

Zephir said...


Eating more trans fats is linked to coronary heart disease, while eating saturated fats is not.
That’s according to an analysis of 123 studies of dietary fat and cardiovascular
health.

Zephir said...

Scientists replicated 100 recent psychology experiments. More than half of them failed.

Zephir said...

Many Social Science Findings Not as Strong as Claimed

Zephir said...

The "lack" of resources is the enemy of Truth." Rufus vs "Resources are the enemy of imagination." Einstein.

Zephir said...

Simon Singh criticises wasteful spending in science outreach

Zephir said...

Study of 500+ allergy sufferers finds that the common decongestant Phenylephrine is no better at unclogging
noses than placebo

Zephir said...

Scientific fraudsters tend to use a common obfuscatory linguistic style

Zephir said...

Rampant software errors may undermine scientific results

Zephir said...

Academics fall short in reporting results of clinical trials

Zephir said...

An influential psychological "theory of ego depletion", borne out in hundreds of experiments, may have just been debunked. Last year, a crowdsourced effort that was able to validate fewer than half of 98 published findings rang alarm bells about the reliability of psychology papers. According to one of several measures of reproducibility, just 36% could be confirmed. How can so many scientists have been so wrong?

Zephir said...

Academics routinely lie and exaggerate when telling funding agencies what impact their research will have
study found

Zephir said...

Widely reported analysis that said much psych research couldn’t be reproduced is riddled with its own replication errors.

Zephir said...

In the article "What is wrong with modern science?" Ilja Schmelzer analyzes the situation in fundamental physics – the dominance of string theory criticized by Woit as "not even wrong" – from an economic point of view: The actual economic organization of state science forces scientists to follow the mainstream, even if it is only a purely speculative proposal. Thus, this organization poses a serious danger for freedom of science.

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