Words are magic

A minor dialogue on Twitter cracked me up today. To put it in context, some scientists and science fetishists on Twitter were in an uproar over my assertion that SCIENTIFIC PEER REVIEW was not only unreliable, but was nothing more than glorified proofreading. They argued that SCIENTIFIC PEER REVIEW was all about replicating experiments and testing conclusions, not merely reading over the material in order to make sure the author wasn’t smoking crack.

One guy even demanded to know if I knew what “peer” meant. Because, you know, that totally changes the process.

Finally, I asked a scientist how many peer reviews he had done. Between 10 and 30 was the answer. Fair enough. Then I asked him how many experiments he had replicated as part of those SCIENTIFIC PEER REVIEWS.

None. Or to put in scientific mathematical terms, zero. Also known as “the null set”.

And what did he actually do in scientifically peer-reviewing these papers? Well, he read them and occasionally made some suggestions for improving them.


That is why I am strongly considering changing my title from Lead Editor of Castalia House to Lead Scientific Peer Reviewer. Because then, you see, we won’t merely be publishing fiction, we’ll be publishing PEER REVIEWED SCIENCE.

UPDATE: This was Real Live Scientist with More than TEN Proofreads Peer Reviews David Whitcombe’s response to finding out that scientists with considerably more experience agreed with me.

David Whitcombe ‏@hauxton
You wrote a blog.
Still misunderstanding peer review.
Over your head in guess
David Whitcombe ‏@hauxton
Laughable Dunning Kruger

Thereby supporting my hypothesis that SJWs always double down.