Friday, April 28, 2017

More Fake Science

Last week ArsTechnica reported on the journal Tumor Biology withdrawing 107 cancer articles because of fraud in the peer-review process.
The journal Tumor Biology is retracting 107 research papers after discovering that the authors faked the peer review process. This isn’t the journal’s first rodeo. Late last year, 58 papers were retracted from seven different journals— 25 came from Tumor Biology for the same reason.
This is a timely revelation, as I have been frequently making the case lately about the rampant fraud in academia in debates regarding the science march and the Bill Nye controversy. Although I don't know if additional evidence really matters, as advocates of Scientism -- scientishts, as I call them -- seem to be suffering a severe case of the Gell-Man Amnesia Effect when it comes to fraud in science. Here's basically how the conservations on the subject play out.

Me: There is widespread fraud in academic science.
Scientisht: That's a bold claim with no evidence.
M: Well here is example A of fraud in academic science.
S: Yeah but that's just one isolated example.
M: There is also example B of fraud in academic science.
S: Okay well yeah there's that, but it's a special case. There is generally not fraud in academic science.
M: There is also example C of fraud in academic science.
S: Sure no field is perfect but you sound like a conspiracy theorist.
M: There is also example D of fraud in academic science.....

And so on. The problem here is that so many people have a binary viewpoint of...everything, pretty much, but especially in categorizing other people. A person is either pro-science or he is anti-science. There's no in-between. To point out the fraud prevalent in the scientific community, even if with pro-science intentions, is to be labeled as anti-science by the binaries. In a debate, it doesn't matter how much evidence you bring to the table because you have been labeled as anti-science. The scientisht will never acknowledge that your arguments or your evidence are credible. To do so would be to agree with "anti-science" viewpoints, and they're too sophisticated to fall for that trap!

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