The crisis in science

Although the fetishists are loath to admit it, the scientists themselves are well aware that something is rotten in the profession of scientistry:

Spectacular failures to replicate key scientific findings have been documented of late, particularly in biology, psychology and medicine.

A report on the issue, published in Nature this May, found that about 90 percent of some 1,576 researchers surveyed now believe there is a reproducibility crisis in science.

While this rightly tarnishes the public belief in science, it also has serious consequences for governments and philanthropic agencies that fund research, as well as the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. It means they could be wasting billions of dollars on research each year.

One contributing factor is easily identified. It is the high rate of so-called false discoveries in the literature. They are false-positive findings and lead to the erroneous perception that a definitive scientific discovery has been made.

This high rate occurs because the studies that are published often have low statistical power to identify a genuine discovery when it is there, and the effects being sought are often small.

Further, dubious scientific practices boost the chance of finding a statistically significant result, usually at a probability of less than one in 20. In fact, our probability threshold for acceptance of a discovery should be more stringent, just as it is for discoveries of new particles in physics.

The English mathematician and the father of computing Charles Babbage noted the problem in his 1830 book Reflections on the Decline of Science in England, and on Some of Its Causes. He formally split these practices into “hoaxing, forging, trimming and cooking.”

As with all institutions in this latter day, social justice convergence is having its deleterious effects in science. This is why a strict division between scientistry and scientody is absolutely vital; science-SJWs profit from the nebulous nature of the term “science” and use it to cloak their convergent activities.