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  1. #121
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Fake science Journal articles, and it's effect on acceptable evi

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    With that said, there's a large difference between bias and incompetence. There's plenty of incompetence in every area of human activity. The peer-review process is designed to have multiple humans looking at the same thing, which often greatly diminishes the biases that a single individual would have and vastly improves the quality of review that a single individual can give.
    First great distinction earlier.
    I suppose my point is about being in the mercy of the "intellectuals".
    And of course that is the point of peer review.. yet the rags of science are worse than the rags of news.


    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    There's a lot different issues you've raised here, so I'll try to hit a few different aspects of what you're discussing. Firstly, I would say that you seem to be conflating a good number of things here. There are different kinds of researchers, and you seem to be using a very colloquial sense of the word "scientist." When I say a "scientist", I mean someone who:

    1.) Has a PhD in a "Pure Science" scientific field (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) or an interdisciplinary, applied kind of fundamental science (Geology, Climatology, Anthropology, Academic Engineering, etc, but only if (2) and (3) also hold).

    2.) Is being paid by an independent research institute or a research university, usually in combination with government grants and sometimes private funds, to conduct their research, as either a professor, lab technician, or a researcher.

    3.) Given the first two, this should follow immediately, but a scientist must regularly, and publicly, publish scientific papers in scientific, peer-review journals.
    To quote Morpheous
    "You all look the same to me".


    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Woah there. I first need to buy into your premise that climate scientists have ever waffled on whether or not the climate is cooling or warming. Despite what Fox news has told you
    Woah!
    You presume too much. I'm referring to headlines I have heard all my life, and I have been around long enough to remember when Fox news didn't exist. (I'm really sick of having everyone blame fox news for any knowledge they don't like. I spend the vast majority of my life with only access to the big 3(abc/nbc/cbs), then the rest of my life without cable at all.. and suddenly Fox is responsible for my entire perception of news over my lifetime. ... wonderful.. )
    You may object and say those "headlines" didn't represent the real consensus at the time.. but then that is the only way I have heard the current "consensus".
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  2. #122
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Fake science Journal articles, and it's effect on acceptable evi

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    First great distinction earlier.
    I suppose my point is about being in the mercy of the "intellectuals".
    And of course that is the point of peer review.. yet the rags of science are worse than the rags of news.
    First, define what you meant by "the rags of science are worse than the rags of news", then I'd like you to actually support that notion.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT
    To quote Morpheous
    "You all look the same to me".
    Firstly, I've given you at least two different ways to determine how valid a source or a journal for a source is. On top of those, you can simply Google someone to see if they're hired at a research university, you could research a little bit about what journal they made their claims in, you could simply send an e-mail to a professor of a well known university for input (though it may take a while for them to reply), or you could learn the subject and understand the content.

    Secondly, you may think that MDs, PhDs working in academia, and PhDs working in the private sector all look the same, but I literally just got done telling you the difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT
    Woah!
    You presume too much. I'm referring to headlines I have heard all my life, and I have been around long enough to remember when Fox news didn't exist. (I'm really sick of having everyone blame fox news for any knowledge they don't like. I spend the vast majority of my life with only access to the big 3(abc/nbc/cbs), then the rest of my life without cable at all.. and suddenly Fox is responsible for my entire perception of news over my lifetime. ... wonderful.. )
    You may object and say those "headlines" didn't represent the real consensus at the time.. but then that is the only way I have heard the current "consensus".
    1.) You happen to post a lot of things that Fox reports (including this news piece), suggesting that it by far your primary news source.

    2.) Support or retract the claim that "during your life" the news have reported scientists --and I'd like actual scientists, by the way; the news isn't very scrupulous about finding legitimate scientists-- believing that "the earth is cooling."
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  3. #123
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Fake science Journal articles, and it's effect on acceptable evi

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    First, define what you meant by "the rags of science are worse than the rags of news", then I'd like you to actually support that notion.
    Well the subject matter of the OP, where a "Journal" published gibberish.

    If I accept what you have been saying (which I have no reason to reject) this is clearly a case of an irreputable science journal. Which would make it a "rag of science".
    An equivalent "rag of journalism" would be something on the order of TMZ or a tabloid. For which I have asked "which has ever published gibberish (IE random words put together) and published it as a story. I have pretty well argued that it is incomparable level of incompetence for journalism.

    I don't think it a very controversial statement, unless one tries to disown this particular instance as part of the world of science.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Secondly, you may think that MDs, PhDs working in academia, and PhDs working in the private sector all look the same, but I literally just got done telling you the difference.
    O, no not the MD's your point about that distinction was well taken.
    I was talking about the ones that don't meet your well defined criteria. It isn't apparent which ones do and don't meet it.
    Not that It can't be found out.. just that to the laymen (or at least myself) they all look the same. I'm sorry, but that is the fact of it.

    If you say "I'm quoting a published paper in a Peer review journal named X" it is not readily apparent to me if that is a true or false claim. (not that it was published in that journal, but that it is one that fulfills your criteria.

    I mean, imagine that you are a person who has never heard of News papers, and someone comes with the New York Times, and another presents "The National Enquirer".
    Certainly I can do more research and discover which is which(especially after getting well defined criteria), but it wouldn't be readily apparent. It gets even worse than that, but I'll hold off on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    1.) You happen to post a lot of things that Fox reports (including this news piece), suggesting that it by far your primary news source.
    I also read CNN, MSNBC.. listened to NPR radio for 5 years (daily) until my radio in the car broke.
    Beyond that, I was making a point about the impression of a lifetime, and you falsely assumed that Fox was my only impute for that impression.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    2.) Support or retract the claim that "during your life" the news have reported scientists --and I'd like actual scientists, by the way; the news isn't very scrupulous about finding legitimate scientists-- believing that "the earth is cooling."
    Disagree with my impression if you like, throw it out if you like.
    I offered it as it is, my impression of past events. That you are demanding a source which I already addressed is unreasonable.
    I'm certain you can find some reason to dismiss a scientists as "illegitimate", even if he was quoted as a "expert" and no one was fired from the paper for incompetence of sighting an unqualified source.

    That being said, (one example) I specifically remember our weatherman (years ago) address some of the claims of Global warming and showed how they were specifically false. (Not the entire theory, just a specific claim). Now, I would like you to explain to me how I am to find that clip. Not knowing exactly when it was made, but that it could be up to 10-15 years ago(if not longer). And please.. please tell me that a weatherman has no say or isn't credible in regards to climate.

    I would however rather you just take it for what it was intended as. An impression. I mean, while I would love to document the 25 years of my life that made up that impression, I would rather just skip to the part where we both agree that the sources that generally made up that impression were flawed. Because it is that "flaw" of the system which is the problem targeted in this thread.
    Sure the news reporter quoted an actually irreputable scientists trying to sell a book. .. I'm a laymen, how am I to know, at the time I still trusted media (I know .. crazy).

    You do realize that one of your criteria was attacked (by another) as plausible corrupt (citation count). Not saying it's an invalid criteria, but I still have no gauge by which to trust it. If when it does occur it's all Winks and Nods.. how am I to know when that doesn't occur? The community in question seems to be buddy buddy and cliquish as it is.
    Last edited by MindTrap028; May 13th, 2014 at 08:55 AM.
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  4. #124
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Fake science Journal articles, and it's effect on acceptable evi

    MT:

    Sorry, I didn't get time to edit my response before you replied. I'm not attacking your perception, but my greater point is that your perception is wrong because the news outlets distorted, made up, or twisted the words of climatologists in the 1970's.

    There's a rather good video series that actually investigates the origin of claims denying anthropogenic global warming, and this journalist has a specific video just on the issue that you're talking about:




    So no, I'm not denying you that your perception of what the media said is correct. It is correct, but salient factor here is that the media was wrong and were overtly sensationalizing. What wasn't being represented was what scientists actually believed.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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  6. #125
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Fake science Journal articles, and it's effect on acceptable evi

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Sorry, I didn't get time to edit my response before you replied. I'm not attacking your perception, but my greater point is that your perception is wrong because the news outlets distorted, made up, or twisted the words of climatologists in the 1970's.

    There's a rather good video series that actually investigates the origin of claims denying anthropogenic global warming, and this journalist has a specific video just on the issue that you're talking about:
    Thanks for that. And I am not here to make the case one way or another about globe warning.
    Just seeking an example of how a layperson is at the mercy, and how the system at present posses significant challenges.

    It took me a long time to become highly skeptical of the news media. However...
    In the video for example it claims that Time magazine is just as capable to sensationalize and miss-report stories as any other. .. Which is ridiculous. I mean, certainly they are capable of doing those things, but are they JUST as likely as the tabloids? How likely is it the guy at time interviewed qualified scientists and was conveying accurately the general impression they had at the time? I mean, that is what reports used to do, interview people and convey that message to people. Yet Time Is being dismissed because it is being written by an "amateur".. but journalists are PROFESSIONALS at talking to professionals in a given field and conveying their story to the people.

    So this dismissal is huge and shouldn't be so easily accepted. Yet is is because he branded them as "amateur" .. as though a time article is equivalent to my personal speculation ,even though he had access to the professionals, or is the equivalent of media rags of social gossip. I thought that back in the 70's the media had some ethics and standards and you could still find real journalists.

    O.k. that slight objection aside.
    I'll accept that Time Mag is a Media Rag not worth consideration in anything related to science, no matter the professional scientist they interviewed.
    As a laymen.. I'm forced to take the position that everything I have heard on Climate change is equally as useless information. .because my entire access to the climate change debate, position is through media portals. I don't subscribe to scientific journals.. I subscribe to ..... well.. nothing really (take that back.. popular mechanics), but I would have liked a subscription to Time, and would have had ever reason to believe article at the time (pun).

    So quickly it's all white noise. Assuming the Time writer did interview the scientist named... can I really do better?
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  7. #126
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Fake science Journal articles, and it's effect on acceptable evi

    So apparently ODN posts don't save, lol. My OS has been having some stability issues (I think that I've fixed the broken driver, we'll see), but I've typed this out one and a half-times, so let's hope it works this time before my computer crashes.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Thanks for that. And I am not here to make the case one way or another about globe warning.
    Just seeking an example of how a layperson is at the mercy, and how the system at present posses significant challenges.
    My point here would be that if you want to get access to relevant, valid information, then you have to spend some time looking at your resources, double-checking the sources, and, if possible, finding descriptions from valid authorities.


    However, at some level, there's a simple reality: Research papers don't seem very easy for you to understand because they weren't made for you to understand. They were made for experts to understand; this means that there's a lot of assumed technical common knowledge, there's an assumption about your skill set and being able to follow the technical arguments that they make, they assume that you have experienced interpreting technical results and correctly identifying the importance of a result, et cetera. A lot of papers, if you didn't understand the importance of a result, you might misunderstand what the central purpose of the paper was, because when you've spent 50 years trying to accomplish something, and someone finally demonstrates how to accomplish it, it's usually superfluous to say "And now we've solved X problem, which is super important and aren't we awesome?" (For instance, Juan Maldacena's paper in 1997 on the AdS/CFT correspondence does not mention that he had solved string theory's answer to the long-standing conjecture that any theory of quantum gravity should admit a holographic dual theory, but it was obvious, to other experts, that it was what he had done.)

    In terms of getting an accurate depiction of the facts (in lieu of learning all of the facts yourself and drawing your own conclusion), honestly, it is best to rely on scientific consensus and/or scientific article (written on that exact topic) for public consumption. Again, at the end of the day, you're at the mercy of listening to what experts have to say on a given issue; the only onus on you is to verify that they are actual experts. Sometimes these experts screw up for one reason or another, but if the 400 years since the scientific revolution have told us anything, it's that trusting experts --even if they screw up sometimes-- is far, far, far better than just saying "Eh, I don't know any better so all answers are equal." I think that it's easy to get lost in the epistemic minutiae rather than spot the obvious fact that, yes, absolutely, peer-review works; or at least, it works better than any other system thus far thought up by humankind.


    Science sort of goes like this:

    1.) Some interesting research is done, a paper presents its finding, and an avenue for scientific research is proposed.
    2.) More research is done and papers on this research are published.
    3.) Eventually, if fruitful, a conclusion is reached, and researchers generally come one conclusion about the research.
    4.) Those conclusions are then given to the public as the currently accepted "facts" that can be assumed to be true for public discourse.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT
    It took me a long time to become highly skeptical of the news media. However...
    In the video for example it claims that Time magazine is just as capable to sensationalize and miss-report stories as any other. .. Which is ridiculous. I mean, certainly they are capable of doing those things, but are they JUST as likely as the tabloids? How likely is it the guy at time interviewed qualified scientists and was conveying accurately the general impression they had at the time? I mean, that is what reports used to do, interview people and convey that message to people. Yet Time Is being dismissed because it is being written by an "amateur".. but journalists are PROFESSIONALS at talking to professionals in a given field and conveying their story to the people.

    So this dismissal is huge and shouldn't be so easily accepted. Yet is is because he branded them as "amateur" .. as though a time article is equivalent to my personal speculation ,even though he had access to the professionals, or is the equivalent of media rags of social gossip. I thought that back in the 70's the media had some ethics and standards and you could still find real journalists.
    Journalists are experts in journalism. That doesn't make their opinions on anything other than "the presentation of news in a manner which attracts the most number of people" better than your own. Just because they should get the news correct doesn't mean that they do.

    More to the point, Time magazine is capable of sensationalizing; this example proves that they are fallible. But having the capacity to fail (which everyone has) is not a useful indicator of how often they fail. All things being equal, I think that the great majority of what Time Magazine publishes is valid, but with that said, scientific journalism is god-awful and always has been, and just because it has "Time Magazine" slapped on the front doesn't make it infallible. The point here is that the gold standard for what the best scientific evidence and understanding is, has always been scientists and scientific publications (meaning science papers published in relevant scientific journals). That's the standard that you compare all scientific claims to. It's not perfect, it's not always right, but the results from scientific disciplines (after sufficient research has been done and a conclusion has been reached) are often correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT
    O.k. that slight objection aside.
    I'll accept that Time Mag is a Media Rag not worth consideration in anything related to science, no matter the professional scientist they interviewed.
    As a laymen.. I'm forced to take the position that everything I have heard on Climate change is equally as useless information. .because my entire access to the climate change debate, position is through media portals. I don't subscribe to scientific journals.. I subscribe to ..... well.. nothing really (take that back.. popular mechanics), but I would have liked a subscription to Time, and would have had ever reason to believe article at the time (pun).

    So quickly it's all white noise. Assuming the Time writer did interview the scientist named... can I really do better?
    Certainly, as that interviewer apparently pretty much purposefully misunderstood the claims made by the scientist in question. I think if:

    A.) You want to understand something scientific
    B.) You take the time to listen to what scientists have to say,

    then you'll be better off than not. You'll more than likely have a reasonably informed decision. What isn't advisable --if you don't understand the issues at hand-- is taking the position that most scientists don't hold to, especially if a non-scientists (or, worse, a motivated non-scientist) tells you to believe them and starts claiming that scientists have created a conspiracy to keep you from knowing the truth.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  8. #127
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Fake science Journal articles, and it's effect on acceptable evi

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    So apparently ODN posts don't save, lol. My OS has been having some stability issues (I think that I've fixed the broken driver, we'll see), but I've typed this out one and a half-times, so let's hope it works this time before my computer crashes.
    No. .computers are a cruel mistress. My computer hit the floor and now shuts down when it feels it will be the most inconvenient. I'm pretty sure it's proof Satan exists, because it gets it right far too often for chance. *J*
    I feel your pain. and I'm sorry for your loss.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    My point here would be that if you want to get access to relevant, valid information, then you have to spend some time looking at your resources, double-checking the sources, and, if possible, finding descriptions from valid authorities.


    However, at some level, there's a simple reality: Research papers don't seem very easy for you to understand because they weren't made for you to understand. They were made for experts to understand; this means that there's a lot of assumed technical common knowledge, there's an assumption about your skill set and being able to follow the technical arguments that they make, they assume that you have experienced interpreting technical results and correctly identifying the importance of a result, et cetera. A lot of papers, if you didn't understand the importance of a result, you might misunderstand what the central purpose of the paper was, because when you've spent 50 years trying to accomplish something, and someone finally demonstrates how to accomplish it, it's usually superfluous to say "And now we've solved X problem, which is super important and aren't we awesome?" (For instance, Juan Maldacena's paper in 1997 on the AdS/CFT correspondence does not mention that he had solved string theory's answer to the long-standing conjecture that any theory of quantum gravity should admit a holographic dual theory, but it was obvious, to other experts, that it was what he had done.)

    In terms of getting an accurate depiction of the facts (in lieu of learning all of the facts yourself and drawing your own conclusion), honestly, it is best to rely on scientific consensus and/or scientific article (written on that exact topic) for public consumption. Again, at the end of the day, you're at the mercy of listening to what experts have to say on a given issue; the only onus on you is to verify that they are actual experts. Sometimes these experts screw up for one reason or another, but if the 400 years since the scientific revolution have told us anything, it's that trusting experts --even if they screw up sometimes-- is far, far, far better than just saying "Eh, I don't know any better so all answers are equal." I think that it's easy to get lost in the epistemic minutiae rather than spot the obvious fact that, yes, absolutely, peer-review works; or at least, it works better than any other system thus far thought up by humankind.


    Science sort of goes like this:

    1.) Some interesting research is done, a paper presents its finding, and an avenue for scientific research is proposed.
    2.) More research is done and papers on this research are published.
    3.) Eventually, if fruitful, a conclusion is reached, and researchers generally come one conclusion about the research.
    4.) Those conclusions are then given to the public as the currently accepted "facts" that can be assumed to be true for public discourse.
    I was going to skip this section as a response, because there isn't really anything for me to disagree with.
    I think however you have presented me with the opportunity to ask a valid question.

    In the past these works were pretty inner circle stuff. I mean, not that everyone couldn't get them, just it was much harder to access, and even fewer qualified to interpret.
    So it produced as you say, a product that was geared to it's target audience... professionals.

    Today, is a very different time. I would be willing to bet that a fair user of the internet could have at his access every paper with the word "solar" in it (or any word combination).
    Or with nominal fees here and there have placed in front of him every significant work on a given topic.
    If not now, then very soon and I wouldn't doubt that having it on your Iphone is (if not here) right around the courner.
    In a nut shell, their audience is growing.

    So that being said, wouldn't it behoove the writers to include a section for the laymen? A "translation" from the author (who should know best)?
    No longer would the laymen be left to guess at what the writer meant or intended, or have it obfuscated and confused purposely by knowledgeable shysters.

    Just saying. Million dollar idea, that and the certification service..
    You should write this stuff down.. pure gold I tell you. *J*


    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Journalists are experts in journalism. That doesn't make their opinions on anything other than "the presentation of news in a manner which attracts the most number of people" better than your own. Just because they should get the news correct doesn't mean that they do.
    I want to preface this, again, by stating that I simply do not trust the media very much. I agree with the idea that they are agenda driven and more than willing to twist facts, misrepresent, purposely misquote etc.

    That said, I don't believe that has always been the case, and as we are speaking of something written in the 70's, I don't find the dismissal of journalists as, purely peddlers for propagating personal opinion, to be palatable. (phew)

    That is not to say that the piece in question isn't precisely that. Only to say that I think projecting a currently accepted fact or perception of Journalism into the past like that is improper.

    If a journalist, having interviewed people in the field, reports that a certain view is the norm or perceived that way. I'm more inclined to think that is the impression he got from the interview and not one that he injected into it.
    A professional journalist simply wouldn't do that and I think at the time would have been reprimanded by his colleges. The fact that Walter Cronkite got in front of the nation and expressed his feelings on the War, was simply not the norm, and if I remember my history, was actually the first time such a thing had been done.
    That reflected a culture of journalism (at the time) to report the facts, and not opinion. (not sure what the specific time frame of the time article is to the shifting of that specific principle)

    Point is, the assumption that they got it wrong.. is one i'm slightly skeptical of.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    More to the point, Time magazine is capable of sensationalizing; this example proves that they are fallible. But having the capacity to fail (which everyone has) is not a useful indicator of how often they fail. All things being equal, I think that the great majority of what Time Magazine publishes is valid, but with that said, scientific journalism is god-awful and always has been, and just because it has "Time Magazine" slapped on the front doesn't make it infallible. The point here is that the gold standard for what the best scientific evidence and understanding is, has always been scientists and scientific publications (meaning science papers published in relevant scientific journals). That's the standard that you compare all scientific claims to. It's not perfect, it's not always right, but the results from scientific disciplines (after sufficient research has been done and a conclusion has been reached) are often correct.
    Well, I certainly won't forward that time is infallible, and this certainly may be an example of it being completely fallacious.
    But, where is it printed what the "consensus" is? I thought that is one of the challenges the laymen faced, was such a thing was not printed, but had to be surmised by reviewing all journals.
    And who would do that other than the PHd's interviewed by time? (assuming they did interview them..no telling).
    I have you, and you say XYZ is the consensus, how many PHd's should I hear before I conclude (as apparently time did) that XYZ is, in fact, the consensus or the perceived consensus among the field.

    My point is only.. yes time is not infallible, but the way it was dismissed in the video is totally improper. Journals themselves and all of science is fallible, but we can't dismiss it in that same way. And more illustrative is the fact that the reporting on science is so bad.. is partly because it is so difficult to nail down the truth. That time writer had more info than I do (in that he was able to speak to professionals). Not only because they are corrupt or incompetent.
    Certainly if a trained professional with access and time to interview the movers and shakers of a field.. if they can't get it right.. what hope have I?

    That is what I get from the Time story being inaccurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Certainly, as that interviewer apparently pretty much purposefully misunderstood the claims made by the scientist in question. I think if:

    A.) You want to understand something scientific
    B.) You take the time to listen to what scientists have to say,

    then you'll be better off than not. You'll more than likely have a reasonably informed decision. What isn't advisable --if you don't understand the issues at hand-- is taking the position that most scientists don't hold to, especially if a non-scientists (or, worse, a motivated non-scientist) tells you to believe them and starts claiming that scientists have created a conspiracy to keep you from knowing the truth.
    Well, I'm glad you think it is attainable, and appreciate the vote of confidence. I'm not so confident.. but, I have no grounds to contradict. I remain skeptical of all scientific claims, and usually when it is in the news.. I have been patient to wait, but it seems to be a long one.

    And to offer an example, for only its humor value.
    I remember when science was so wrong so as to name Pluto a planet..
    Science is a fun topic to teach my kids and see how many "facts" have changed.
    That puts my current "cool down" period at about 20 years You and I can both hold our breath as I try to hold to that standard *J*
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Fake science Journal articles, and it's effect on acceptable evi

    Sorry for the wait in response, I've been absurdly busy.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I was going to skip this section as a response, because there isn't really anything for me to disagree with.
    I think however you have presented me with the opportunity to ask a valid question.

    In the past these works were pretty inner circle stuff. I mean, not that everyone couldn't get them, just it was much harder to access, and even fewer qualified to interpret.
    So it produced as you say, a product that was geared to it's target audience... professionals.

    Today, is a very different time. I would be willing to bet that a fair user of the internet could have at his access every paper with the word "solar" in it (or any word combination).
    Or with nominal fees here and there have placed in front of him every significant work on a given topic.
    If not now, then very soon and I wouldn't doubt that having it on your Iphone is (if not here) right around the courner.
    In a nut shell, their audience is growing.

    So that being said, wouldn't it behoove the writers to include a section for the laymen? A "translation" from the author (who should know best)?
    No longer would the laymen be left to guess at what the writer meant or intended, or have it obfuscated and confused purposely by knowledgeable shysters.

    Just saying. Million dollar idea, that and the certification service..
    You should write this stuff down.. pure gold I tell you. *J*
    So it's important to keep a few things in mind. The science that you think about most probably comes from a high school textbook given to you as a teenager or earlier. In this format, science comes in a neat little package. All of the facts are well-understood, the details are either filled in or a picture of what is going on is given, there's a lots of universally agreed upon facts that are presented, and basically everything is clean. Usually this is because the subjects in the book were finished somewhere between fifty years ago to hundreds of years ago. It may take some time for the reader to memorize or digest, but the complete scientific story is there and the salient facts have been thoroughly verified through scientific experiments.

    The reality of science and the scientific method is that there's a lot of work that goes in between "Huh, that's an odd experimental result." to "Here's a working theory of quantum electrodynamics." So one thing I won't hold a pretense on is that it's trivial for you to determine what's going on in active research topics of science. Facts are a lot more messy and unclear; after all, science is the pursuit of actually understanding Nature, and we aren't given scientific textbooks to learn from. An active area of research is a"active" because we don't sufficiently understand it. You're spot on about that.

    However, when push comes to shove, you can just e-mail a few professors at a few different universities a question. They might not respond fast, but they likely will respond. I won't say that they will all be 100% honest, but they should be honest enough that they'll say "We're uncertain exactly about X" or "It's pretty well agreed upon that X is [true/false]." Let's take climate science as an example. The specifics of global warming aren't well-understood in a scientific sense; climates are complicated and so climate modeling is complicated so there's a lot of research that needs to go into climate data and climate modeling. However, just because scientists don't fully understand something does not mean that we should conclude "They don't know anything." It is well-understood and generally agreed upon amongst climatologists that anthropogenic climate change is real (with a few exceptions, although they slowly keep switching to the position of "Anthropogenic climate change is real.", which is telling in and of itself). You don't need knowledge with less than 10% error, for example, to be able to demonstrate statistically significant and scientifically accepted trends or relationships between variables, which allows us to conclude causation.

    So, what does this mean for you? The most important issues presented in a paper might not be understood by the original authors. So even if an attempt was made to write a section that's more public friendly, they might not emphasize the salient points or they might provide an unintentionally inaccurate picture because the most important purpose of their work they might not even fully recognize until more research comes in. The purpose of checking current scientific papers is mostly to fact check what people are saying what a scientist said vs what the scientist actually said. (If you read that potholer54 videos I linked you to, you can see that people often horribly misrepresent scientists, and I'm guessing it's often for their own political gain; for very politicized scientific results, it's not unwise to check the source).

    So to your question: It's easier for you the older the fields is. Any question about Newtonian mechanics you can probably just do a Google search and get the right answer, but that's because it's been around for nearly 400 years. If you want to ask a question about quantum gravity and the nature of the initial state of the universe, well, these questions are pretty open in science, and the answer isn't known.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT
    I want to preface this, again, by stating that I simply do not trust the media very much. I agree with the idea that they are agenda driven and more than willing to twist facts, misrepresent, purposely misquote etc.

    That said, I don't believe that has always been the case, and as we are speaking of something written in the 70's, I don't find the dismissal of journalists as, purely peddlers for propagating personal opinion, to be palatable. (phew)

    That is not to say that the piece in question isn't precisely that. Only to say that I think projecting a currently accepted fact or perception of Journalism into the past like that is improper.

    If a journalist, having interviewed people in the field, reports that a certain view is the norm or perceived that way. I'm more inclined to think that is the impression he got from the interview and not one that he injected into it.
    A professional journalist simply wouldn't do that and I think at the time would have been reprimanded by his colleges. The fact that Walter Cronkite got in front of the nation and expressed his feelings on the War, was simply not the norm, and if I remember my history, was actually the first time such a thing had been done.
    That reflected a culture of journalism (at the time) to report the facts, and not opinion. (not sure what the specific time frame of the time article is to the shifting of that specific principle)

    Point is, the assumption that they got it wrong.. is one i'm slightly skeptical of.
    1.) Well, that's certainly not true that Walter Cronkite had been the first journalist to show bias. It's easy to fall into the notion that the past was so much better than the present (although on some specific issues, it might have been), but the concept of yellow journalism has been going on since at least 1898, and if we really researched the issue, my guess is that you could find that it's been going on since journalism began.

    Every source has biases, including science (although there serious measures are taken to prevent the contamination of the facts). Honestly, I prefer biased news, so long as it is open about it's biases.

    2.) I would say that most journalists nowadays are peddlers to some degree or another. I don't think that there are many "professionals" as you call them left in journalism. I think an example, love him or hate him, would be Glenn Greenwald. But the tropes you get on Fox News and MSNBC are hardly anything resembling professional. However, like I said, I like getting my news from sources like The Young Turks; they are openly biased to the left, but they are open about it. And they openly criticize failures in Democratic politicians as much as Republican politicians, which I like (Being neither a Democrat or a Republican).

    Quote Originally Posted by MT
    Well, I certainly won't forward that time is infallible, and this certainly may be an example of it being completely fallacious.
    But, where is it printed what the "consensus" is? I thought that is one of the challenges the laymen faced, was such a thing was not printed, but had to be surmised by reviewing all journals.
    And who would do that other than the PHd's interviewed by time? (assuming they did interview them..no telling).
    I have you, and you say XYZ is the consensus, how many PHd's should I hear before I conclude (as apparently time did) that XYZ is, in fact, the consensus or the perceived consensus among the field.

    My point is only.. yes time is not infallible, but the way it was dismissed in the video is totally improper. Journals themselves and all of science is fallible, but we can't dismiss it in that same way. And more illustrative is the fact that the reporting on science is so bad.. is partly because it is so difficult to nail down the truth. That time writer had more info than I do (in that he was able to speak to professionals). Not only because they are corrupt or incompetent.
    Certainly if a trained professional with access and time to interview the movers and shakers of a field.. if they can't get it right.. what hope have I?

    That is what I get from the Time story being inaccurate.
    Honestly, if you want a reasonably well-balanced, very rarely wrong source for science that is intended for the masses, I would suggest reputable popular science magazines. Some good ones are Scientific American and Science Magazine. Some other noteworthy ones are MIT's Technology Review for more engineering and technology based information. But in general, there are also science blogs. PBS programs aren't bad, but the more overtly popular science ones (like Nova) might not be as reliable in content (the more something becomes popularized, the more there's a false emphasis there is on a specific work, idea, or person) as their goal is to try to stimulate the public rather than inform the public with accuracy. Blogs by well-known scientists aren't a bad option either; e.g. if you stick the science articles (setting aside the Skeptics, politics, or other non-science topics) for blogs like Pheryngula by PZ Myers on biology, Preposterous Universe by Sean Carroll for cosmology and particle physics, Bad Astronomy by Phil Plait for astronomy, and there are many more that you can find in a Google search (just make sure they have a PhD and are either employed at a well-known company or university)

    Quote Originally Posted by MT
    Well, I'm glad you think it is attainable, and appreciate the vote of confidence. I'm not so confident.. but, I have no grounds to contradict. I remain skeptical of all scientific claims, and usually when it is in the news.. I have been patient to wait, but it seems to be a long one.

    And to offer an example, for only its humor value.
    I remember when science was so wrong so as to name Pluto a planet..
    Science is a fun topic to teach my kids and see how many "facts" have changed.
    That puts my current "cool down" period at about 20 years You and I can both hold our breath as I try to hold to that standard *J*
    1.) I understand the humor and smiled, but I have a sort of serious point to make here, so I'll make it. There's degrees of "wrongness." The concept of a planet is an arbitrary distinction, at some level, that's more useful than "objective." It happens to be easier to define planets as very big satellites of the Sun. But technically, this is just a definition of convenience, and in fact this was actually the issue with Pluto. It had been well understood for a few decades that several very large objects existed in the Kuiper belt (ring around the Sun that has a large collection of asteroids and "dwarf planets), and there were many, many of these "dwarf planets" --one of which, Eris, was even bigger than Pluto.

    So astronomers had a choice; either demote Pluto to a dwarf planet or else add a lot of new planets to the roster. Since it's easier to only talk about a handful of very, very massive objects, the decision was made to not include Eris and other dwarf planets onto the roster of regular planets. So, astronomers had to be consistent and thus they demoted Pluto.

    However, this is a definitional issue. The objective facts of the matter haven't changed. Pluto still exists; Pluto still has an average radius of ~1000 km; Pluto still has a mass of ~10^22 kg; Pluto still orbits the Sun every ~250 years, and so on.


    2.) I think you should really try to think about the difference between "I mistrust what scientists are claiming to be true." and "I mistrust what the news says scientists are claiming to be true." They are different.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Fake science Journal articles, and it's effect on acceptable evi

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    1.) Well, that's certainly not true that Walter Cronkite had been the first journalist to show bias. It's easy to fall into the notion that the past was so much better than the present (although on some specific issues, it might have been), but the concept of yellow journalism has been going on since at least 1898, and if we really researched the issue, my guess is that you could find that it's been going on since journalism began.
    Small correction (As up to this point I have no disagreement with your post).

    I was not trying to say that walter Cronkite was the first journalist to be biased, I was making the point that he represented the first of a culture step inside of journalism.
    That when he stood in front of the nation and said "I think we should get out of the war", the way news was resented was set to change from presenting the facts, to presenting opinion of the facts.

    I formed this opinion from a documentary on Walter (that wasn't making that point) but in speaking about his life and roll in covering the war made the point that it was a major deviation from the way news was reported at the time.

    (well on a tangent now... but to continue)
    So to me it represented the irony of one of the "greatest" reporters of our time, was the pioneer in destroying the news media. IMO. but I digress.


    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    2.) I would say that most journalists nowadays are peddlers to some degree or another. I don't think that there are many "professionals" as you call them left in journalism. I think an example, love him or hate him, would be Glenn Greenwald. But the tropes you get on Fox News and MSNBC are hardly anything resembling professional. However, like I said, I like getting my news from sources like The Young Turks; they are openly biased to the left, but they are open about it. And they openly criticize failures in Democratic politicians as much as Republican politicians, which I like (Being neither a Democrat or a Republican).
    The only true journalist work that I have seen has been John Stossel when he was on 20/20. and beyond
    I'm sure there are more, and that is certainly a reflection of my not having cable to be exposed to the other "true" journalists.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Honestly, if you want a reasonably well-balanced, very rarely wrong source for science that is intended for the masses, I would suggest reputable popular science magazines. Some good ones are Scientific American and Science Magazine. Some other noteworthy ones are MIT's Technology Review for more engineering and technology based information. But in general, there are also science blogs. PBS programs aren't bad, but the more overtly popular science ones (like Nova) might not be as reliable in content (the more something becomes popularized, the more there's a false emphasis there is on a specific work, idea, or person) as their goal is to try to stimulate the public rather than inform the public with accuracy. Blogs by well-known scientists aren't a bad option either; e.g. if you stick the science articles (setting aside the Skeptics, politics, or other non-science topics) for blogs like Pheryngula by PZ Myers on biology, Preposterous Universe by Sean Carroll for cosmology and particle physics, Bad Astronomy by Phil Plait for astronomy, and there are many more that you can find in a Google search (just make sure they have a PhD and are either employed at a well-known company or university)
    *joking* .. but serious point.
    I"m scared GP... I'm scared I will end up following a crack pot with tenure.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    1.) I understand the humor and smiled, but I have a sort of serious point to make here, so I'll make it. There's degrees of "wrongness." The concept of a planet is an arbitrary distinction, at some level, that's more useful than "objective." It happens to be easier to define planets as very big satellites of the Sun. But technically, this is just a definition of convenience, and in fact this was actually the issue with Pluto. It had been well understood for a few decades that several very large objects existed in the Kuiper belt (ring around the Sun that has a large collection of asteroids and "dwarf planets), and there were many, many of these "dwarf planets" --one of which, Eris, was even bigger than Pluto.

    So astronomers had a choice; either demote Pluto to a dwarf planet or else add a lot of new planets to the roster. Since it's easier to only talk about a handful of very, very massive objects, the decision was made to not include Eris and other dwarf planets onto the roster of regular planets. So, astronomers had to be consistent and thus they demoted Pluto.

    However, this is a definitional issue. The objective facts of the matter haven't changed. Pluto still exists; Pluto still has an average radius of ~1000 km; Pluto still has a mass of ~10^22 kg; Pluto still orbits the Sun every ~250 years, and so on.
    All well taken, as I'm aware of the debate on that specific topic.
    The fact of course still remains that I would have failed that high-school level question, as the "correct" answer has changed. Were I in a debate, and made that error I am certain I would pay and it would count towards discrediting me. The idea of course is that there is a lot of science out there that out right changes (like the naming) and more that is open to significant correction, still more open to disccreditation and ultimate rejection.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    2.) I think you should really try to think about the difference between "I mistrust what scientists are claiming to be true." and "I mistrust what the news says scientists are claiming to be true." They are different.
    Well, I would say that my current position is formed to be.
    The idea that "science" has a single voice so as to "speak" to anything is neigh the "no true Scotsmen fallacy".


    This is why.
    A PHD is not sufficient, because there are too many.
    A "Right school" is not sufficient, because you can have a tenured nut, not be from the "right school" at all.
    A Paper is not sufficient because (as you have said here) even the author may not be aware of it's implications.
    A Journal is not sufficient, because it may not be reputable enough or rigorous enough.
    A journal is not sufficient because it doesn't publish a conclusion or "final ruling" on what a "consensus" is.
    To find that consensus we must rely back on PHD's, and my access to that is through the media.. which is insufficient on 2 counts, one of which lead back to the beginning.

    So, I agree with the distinction you have made, I just feel that the answer is beyond my current grasp.

    Now.. to my above loop (and I admit to being loopy.. so), it may be easy for those in the field (such as yourself) to make the distinction.
    It's just that I am faced with the very specific limiting truth.

    I am not qualified to make the distinction(not of a debate topic, but of the quality of source) without vast investment of time.

    Which means, to me, that I am ultimately going to have to invest a lot of time on certain topics in order to give them any credit at all. (IE, that one quotes a source, means I am more likely to dismiss it unless I have time to investigate it) This is ultimately dismissive due to general lack of trust of the sources, not science itself. You have made some very good suggestions and ways to educating myself, but as billy Joel says.."it's a matter of trust".


    Ultimate summary
    Once the culture of science is subject to distrust, it doesn't simply end at a PHD, school name or correct journal.
    I think the fake papers, and politics in science is sufficient to cast a shadow on the culture of science.

    So while there certainly are ways of addressing that challenge personally (as I think you have shown) I think that any debates on a scientific topic have huge and significant assumptions that should be addressed in regards to source merit.
    My current state of mind is to dismiss anytime the word "consensus" is used without a sufficient source for that claim. I say this because that phrase is thrown about in science discussions often and rarely qualified.

    .. now I'm rambling. forgive my randomness. Some of this isn't really intended to contradict what you have said directly.
    To serve man.

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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Fake science Journal articles, and it's effect on acceptable evi

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Small correction (As up to this point I have no disagreement with your post).

    I was not trying to say that walter Cronkite was the first journalist to be biased, I was making the point that he represented the first of a culture step inside of journalism.
    That when he stood in front of the nation and said "I think we should get out of the war", the way news was resented was set to change from presenting the facts, to presenting opinion of the facts.

    I formed this opinion from a documentary on Walter (that wasn't making that point) but in speaking about his life and roll in covering the war made the point that it was a major deviation from the way news was reported at the time.

    (well on a tangent now... but to continue)
    So to me it represented the irony of one of the "greatest" reporters of our time, was the pioneer in destroying the news media. IMO. but I digress.
    Again, I think the trend here is the overtness of these biases. I think my biggest problem with Fox News is that it presents itself to be fair and balanced. If Fox News didn't pretend to be fair and balanced, I'd still be appalled by how much it manipulates its audience with falsehoods and deceit, but at least the audience would be warned.

    If you're going to be biased, be open about it. It'd be great if reporters just wouldn't have biases, but they always do. Even worse so, right now, where multi-nationals own the news corporations... Talk about conflicts of interest.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap
    The only true journalist work that I have seen has been John Stossel when he was on 20/20. and beyond
    I'm sure there are more, and that is certainly a reflection of my not having cable to be exposed to the other "true" journalists.
    John Stossel has been pretty overtly political, honestly.

    Quote Originally Posted by MT
    *joking* .. but serious point.
    I"m scared GP... I'm scared I will end up following a crack pot with tenure.
    There's a reason why people who are actively publishing papers in their thirties and forties are probably the most accurate sources. Leaders of the field (People who still are getting large numbers of citations), who are still leaders, in their 50's and 60's (or possibly older, like Stephen Weinberg who's in his 80's and still hasn't become a crackpot).

    Quote Originally Posted by MT
    All well taken, as I'm aware of the debate on that specific topic.
    The fact of course still remains that I would have failed that high-school level question, as the "correct" answer has changed. Were I in a debate, and made that error I am certain I would pay and it would count towards discrediting me. The idea of course is that there is a lot of science out there that out right changes (like the naming) and more that is open to significant correction, still more open to disccreditation and ultimate rejection.
    I think that it's important to distinguish between different kinds of truths, which I was trying to emphasize before. High school science definitely treats these facts as being equal, but they aren't.

    What do I mean by "different kinds of truth"? This is the difference between analytic and synthetic statements. Analytic statements are statements that are true by definition, and not necessarily true because of some objective truth out in Nature. In science, we have a ton of these, largely in the sense of classifications. Classification schemes are only useful, they aren't objective. i.e. Any definition of "planet" is arbitrary. There's the Sun, and there's a lot of objects swirling around them. Some of them are huge; more of them are tiny. But it's arbitrary to say "All objects with these properties we'll call 'planets', with these properties 'dwarf planets', and so on." We could have chosen anything else. We could have been completely comfortable with 300 planets, and included a huge number of them. Again, classifications are just for convenience. These aren't definitions that are necessarily true or be experimentally tested.

    However, synthetic statements are objective facts of the matter, and they do correspond to true statements about Nature. These are statements like "Pluto exists" or "Pluto has mass X" or "Pluto orbits the Sun with a period of Y." You can say "Oh, this body has less mass than a planet, so we'll label it a 'dwarf planet'," but it doesn't change the facts on the ground. Pluto exists, Pluto has a given mass, and Pluto orbits the Sun.

    So while categorizations and classifications will change in science, and the test questions associated to them will change; however, the synthetic statements --the statements that give science power and the kinds of statements that science is able to directly test-- very rarely change. And when they do change, they don't change in a "Oh yeah, scientists just got this totally wrong" sense, they change in a much more subtle way (cf. Newtonian mechanics is false, but in the regimes where it was tested it is still an incredibly accurate approximation).

    Quote Originally Posted by MT
    Well, I would say that my current position is formed to be.
    The idea that "science" has a single voice so as to "speak" to anything is neigh the "no true Scotsmen fallacy".
    That's honestly not true. There are always dissenters (this isn't a bad thing, good dissenters ask good questions and this forwards human knowledge; bad dissenters ask bad questions are ignored), but that doesn't mean that the dissenters are correct or that there existence casts doubt on science or obfuscates the scientific consensus. For instance, there will always be Michael Behe's in evolutionary biology, but it doesn't mean that their existence casts doubt on the scientific consensus that the theory of evolution is true. (True here in the scientific sense; not 100%, certainly true, but 99.9(...)9% almost certainly true)

    Quote Originally Posted by MT
    This is why.
    A PHD is not sufficient, because there are too many.
    A "Right school" is not sufficient, because you can have a tenured nut, not be from the "right school" at all.
    A Paper is not sufficient because (as you have said here) even the author may not be aware of it's implications.
    A Journal is not sufficient, because it may not be reputable enough or rigorous enough.
    A journal is not sufficient because it doesn't publish a conclusion or "final ruling" on what a "consensus" is.
    To find that consensus we must rely back on PHD's, and my access to that is through the media.. which is insufficient on 2 counts, one of which lead back to the beginning.

    So, I agree with the distinction you have made, I just feel that the answer is beyond my current grasp.

    Now.. to my above loop (and I admit to being loopy.. so), it may be easy for those in the field (such as yourself) to make the distinction.
    It's just that I am faced with the very specific limiting truth.

    I am not qualified to make the distinction(not of a debate topic, but of the quality of source) without vast investment of time.

    Which means, to me, that I am ultimately going to have to invest a lot of time on certain topics in order to give them any credit at all. (IE, that one quotes a source, means I am more likely to dismiss it unless I have time to investigate it) This is ultimately dismissive due to general lack of trust of the sources, not science itself. You have made some very good suggestions and ways to educating myself, but as billy Joel says.."it's a matter of trust".


    Ultimate summary
    Once the culture of science is subject to distrust, it doesn't simply end at a PHD, school name or correct journal.
    I think the fake papers, and politics in science is sufficient to cast a shadow on the culture of science.

    So while there certainly are ways of addressing that challenge personally (as I think you have shown) I think that any debates on a scientific topic have huge and significant assumptions that should be addressed in regards to source merit.
    My current state of mind is to dismiss anytime the word "consensus" is used without a sufficient source for that claim. I say this because that phrase is thrown about in science discussions often and rarely qualified.

    .. now I'm rambling. forgive my randomness. Some of this isn't really intended to contradict what you have said directly.[
    A good bit of this are fair points, but the analysis is far from complete. The issue here that you're trying to describe is the following:

    1.) In principle, you shouldn't believe claims until you have seen the argumentation, evidence, considerations, technical issues, etc, and reached the conclusion for yourself. This is how you really should be convinced of something. There's only one problem here: This is extremely impractical. It takes years and years and years of research and consideration by very smart people to come up with the right valid or cogent arguments, analyze the evidence with the best interpretation, etc. It's simply impractical for everyone to know everything --and that's what is required by this principled notion of why you should believe something.

    2.) But there's a proxy for doing this. It's an imperfect proxy, but it's still very good. And that proxy is to get a lot of smart people together, and let them analyze the evidence, the logic, the reasoning, and interpretations of the evidence. They get to specialize in the relevant technical knowledge. The hope --and it's just a hope-- is that better education means better people. This is insufficient, however, and this is why peer-review exists. It's not just enough to be smart and know things, it's important that you can convince other people that your work is legitimate. So, you hand off your technical work other technical experts; these experts (hopefully) do not have the biases that one individual author might. They also might spot something that the author missed, a technical error or a lack of knowledge of another result, etc. Then you wait for most of them to agree with each other. This means that: People received special training on a technical subject, and spent years studying the topic. They then wrote papers, which had to get confirmed to be valid by other technical experts. Then, all of these technical experts looked over all of the papers, they checked each other's work, and then they repeated the tests of what each other has done. They meet each other for conferences. They present ideas to each other, they debate each other, and they discuss ideas together. Then, after enough evidence has come in, the majority of them agree that "Fact X" appears to be true, given the large amount of evidence and valid/cogent argumentation for "Fact X."

    It's imperfect. There's always room for improvement. However, in terms of truth statements about our universe, it's better than any other system created by humanity. You don't have to take my word for it: It has lead to non-trivial predictions and discoveries. It has lead to incredible technologies and medicine.

    So, should you trust scientific consensus? I think that the answer has to be "Yes." Sure, you cannot verify with 100% reliability that every author did everything correct; but it's also pretty clear that something about science works. That's a really non-trivial statement in and of itself. It might be imperfect, but clearly there's something very trustworthy about it. After all, you clearly trust that the science that engineers and scientists use to transmit your words to me is a system that works. You trust that I will actually get your message. You trust that what you read from me is actually what I've written and not just random fluctuations in the electrical cables that got spit on your screen. You trust that your car will take you places, like your job, every day. You trust that your refrigerator will keep your food cold and keep it from spoiling. You trust that when you fly on an airplane that the airplane will actually get off the ground and take you somewhere. Now these objects won't work with 100% reliability; cars break, websites have bugs, and so on, but clearly it works very reliably. So, I'd honestly say that you already do trust the results of science, you just might (incorrectly) think that there's a distinction between this science that you use in your everyday life, like the thermodynamics and electrical circuitry of toasters, and the science that you don't use in your everyday life, like evolution, global warming, Big Bang theory, etc.

    But they've all been vetted with the same process and with the same level of rigor: The scientific method. So I would argue that not only is it very reasonable for you to trust science and the truth statements that it makes, but that you actually already do. (In fact, the examples in your own life of why you find the toaster, or plumbing, or automobiles, etc, to reliable was actually tested at much lower statistical significance than the scientists who've tested that the principles behind these devices have; in other words, the number of times scientists have tested evolution, global warming, or the Big Bang theory has been many, many more times than you've flipped on your toaster or turned on your car and saw that it worked). The only reason you should distrust scientific consensus is if you have a legitimate belief that you could actually do these things better, more accurately, more correctly than current scientists. And I think that's a pretty bold claim. It might even be true, but it's pretty presumptive nonetheless.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Fake science Journal articles, and it's effect on acceptable evi

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    John Stossel has been pretty overtly political, honestly.
    Well, I'm not certain what you mean by that.
    In his 20/20 reports I don't think I ever saw him present his own opinion of the topic. I have never seen it argued or seen a basis for it that his presentation was biased or lacked some relevant fact. In all of his presentations he has done the first job of a reporter and that has been to ask the right and relevant questions
    to the correct people who would have the answers.

    So while the topics may be political in nature, I don't think he has injected himself into any of them.

    Now in one of his books such as "no they can't" which is his case for libertarian ism (which he is). I would totally agree with you, but disagree if you were counting that as part of his reporting.


    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    There's a reason why people who are actively publishing papers in their thirties and forties are probably the most accurate sources. Leaders of the field (People who still are getting large numbers of citations), who are still leaders, in their 50's and 60's (or possibly older, like Stephen Weinberg who's in his 80's and still hasn't become a crackpot).
    fair point.. but you never know when the apple will turn

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    That's honestly not true. There are always dissenters (this isn't a bad thing, good dissenters ask good questions and this forwards human knowledge; bad dissenters ask bad questions are ignored), but that doesn't mean that the dissenters are correct or that there existence casts doubt on science or obfuscates the scientific consensus. For instance, there will always be Michael Behe's in evolutionary biology, but it doesn't mean that their existence casts doubt on the scientific consensus that the theory of evolution is true. (True here in the scientific sense; not 100%, certainly true, but 99.9(...)9% almost certainly true)
    Ahh.. but where is this voice? it's the nebulous "consensus" .. and where is that? (please provide a link to the voice of science or where it can be found please).

    I think you may misunderstand what I mean by "voice of science". There are a lot of voices IN science.. but there is no voice of science, because science is a process not a conclusion or a voice to be heard.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    . (True here in the scientific sense; not 100%, certainly true, but 99.9(...)9% almost certainly true)
    Let me ask you this. is there a scientific consensus that ANYTHING is the best answer.. but is also not 50% certain to be accurate or at least less than the 99.9999% you speak of?


    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    It's not just enough to be smart and know things, it's important that you can convince other people that your work is legitimate
    I'll call time out here.. because you introduce a step that is TOTALLY fallacious to a legitimate argument.
    That you can convince people is completely irrelevant to truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    After all, you clearly trust that the science that engineers and scientists use to transmit your words to me is a system that works
    I think that is akin to saying I trust evolution because I breath.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    So, I'd honestly say that you already do trust the results of science, you just might (incorrectly) think that there's a distinction between this science that you use in your everyday life, like the thermodynamics and electrical circuitry of toasters, and the science that you don't use in your everyday life, like evolution, global warming, Big Bang theory, etc.
    Well, actually there is a HUGE difference in say our communication through a computer, and evolution or global warming.
    The first and most obvious is that I don't trust my computer because a PHD said too or said I should, or said I must, I trust it because of my personal experience with it.

    Second, There is the distinction of being able to spot obvious fallacies or contradictions or obvious logical breaks in the reasoning. You can call that "doing it better" if you like.

    For example seeing that "global warming" has failed to produce valid predictions to me... yet a consensus remains in science.
    For example every year I hear that global warming predicts that we will have a more severe storm season. Then after 5 years of no major storms, and in fact a decrease to my memory.. I simply don't need to have a PHD to call "crap" on the theory. It isn't obviously false, but it is obvious they don't know as much about what they are talking about as they presume.

    So what I am faced with is a constant "no no.. now we got it X will happen" (fail).. "No. no NOW.. NOW WE GOT IT" (fail).
    Some will call this the process, and it certainly is, but it produces for the skeptic laymen a plethora of valid basis for objection and doubt.
    That is VASTLY different than my light switch.



    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    But they've all been vetted with the same process and with the same level of rigor: The scientific method. So I would argue that not only is it very reasonable for you to trust science and the truth statements that it makes, but that you actually already do. (In fact, the examples in your own life of why you find the toaster, or plumbing, or automobiles, etc, to reliable was actually tested at much lower statistical significance than the scientists who've tested that the principles behind these devices have; in other words, the number of times scientists have tested evolution, global warming, or the Big Bang theory has been many, many more times than you've flipped on your toaster or turned on your car and saw that it worked).
    I think you fallaciously included plumbing as a product of the scientific method or the scientific community.
    I also think you are confusing different kinds of trust.

    For example, I trust that if I jump off of the house, I will fall down. That belief has zero to do with the scientific method or it's products in journals.
    (That is a repeat from above I know)

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    in other words, the number of times scientists have tested evolution, global warming, or the Big Bang theory has been many, many more times than you've flipped on your toaster or turned on your car and saw that it worked)
    Well, I highly doubt that. Firstly because Global warming hasn't exactly been setting the record for highly visible and accurate predictions.
    Granted there is a time delay, but what prediction 20 years ago has come true? What model has been accurate? O yea, and remember it must be the CONSENSUS prediction
    After all, it's very easy for crackpots to spout off a billion predictions and one of them coming true isn't very special.

    Now, give me 10 (I hit at least 10 light switches today) over the past 20 years (also consensus predictions).


    My point is, your over stating your case.
    I could probably issue the same challenge in regards to evolution, and I bet you would be hard pressed to find 10 consensus predictions of evolution. Especially ones as specific as flipping a switch, or as logically sound. Because the TOE is pretty broad to begin with, and lends itself highly to "Just so stories" offered in retrospect. (IE as logically sound as connecting the fact that I flipped a switch and a light came on as a result).


    --Summary
    I find your line of reasoning very suspect. I don't think it follows that use = trust in a theory. As though enjoying sun light could be counted as a trust in global warming. It simply doesn't follow.
    To serve man.

  13. #132
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Fake science Journal articles, and it's effect on acceptable evi

    Ran across this story today.

    Science Journal Retracts 60 Articles After Discovering "Peer Review Ring"

    Every now and then a scholarly journal retracts an article because of errors or outright fraud. In academic circles, and sometimes beyond, each retraction is a big deal.

    Now comes word of a journal retracting 60 articles at once.

    The reason for the mass retraction is mind-blowing: A “peer review and citation ring” was apparently rigging the review process to get articles published.

    You’ve heard of prostitution rings, gambling rings and extortion rings. Now there’s a “peer review ring.”

    The publication is the Journal of Vibration and Control (JVC). It publishes papers with names like “Hydraulic enginge mounts: a survey” and “Reduction of wheel force variations with magnetorheological devices.”

    It’s field is highly technical:

    Analytical, computational and experimental studies of vibration phenomena and their control. The scope encompasses all linear and nonlinear vibration phenomena and covers topics such as: vibration and control of structures and machinery, signal analysis, aeroelasticity, neural networks, structural control and acoustics, noise and noise control, waves in solids and fluids and shock waves.

    JVC is part of the SAGE group of academic publications.

    An announcement from SAGE published July 8 explained what happened, albeit somewhat opaquely.

    In 2013, the editor of JVC, Ali H. Nayfeh, became aware of people using “fabricated identities” to manipulate an online system called SAGE Track by which scholars review the work of other scholars prior to publication.

    Attention focused on a researcher named Peter Chen of the National Pingtung University of Education (NPUE) in Taiwan and “possibly other authors at this institution.”

    After a 14-month investigation, JVC determined the ring involved “aliases” and fake e-mail addresses of reviewers — up to 130 of them — in an apparently successful effort to get friendly reviews of submissions and as many articles published as possible by Chen and his friends. “On at least one occasion, the author Peter Chen reviewed his own paper under one of the aliases he created,” according to the SAGE announcement.

    The statement does not explain how something like this happens. Did the ring invent names and say they were scholars? Did they use real names and pretend to be other scholars? Doesn’t anyone check on these things by, say, picking up the phone and calling the reviewer?

    In any case, SAGE and Nayfeh confronted Chen to give him an “opportunity to address the accusations of misconduct,” the statement said, but were not satisfied with his responses.

    In May, “NPUE informed SAGE and JVC that Peter Chen had resigned from his post on 2 February 2014.”

    Each of the 60 retracted articles had at least one author and/or one reviewer “who has been implicated in the peer review” ring, said a separate notice issued by JVC.

    Efforts by The Washington Post to locate and contact Chen for comment were unsuccessful.

    The whole story is described in a publication called “Retraction Watch” under the headline: “SAGE Publications busts ‘peer review and citation ring.’”

    “This one,” it said, “deserves a ‘wow.’” http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/m...r-review-ring/
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

  14. Thanks Squatch347, MindTrap028 thanked for this post
  15. #133
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Fake science Journal articles, and it's effect on acceptable evi

    Echoing Even's great post above, I would point to an article by the Mises institute which adds a bit by:

    Richard Smith, the former editor of the respected British Medical Journal (BMJ), the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, characterized the “classic” peer review system as follows:

    The editor looks at the title of the paper and sends it to two friends whom the editor thinks know something about the subject. If both advise publication the editor sends it to the printers. If both advise against publication the editor rejects the paper. If the reviewers disagree the editor sends it to a third reviewer and does whatever he or she advises. This pastiche—which is not far from systems I have seen used—is little better than tossing a coin,

    But one would think that peer review would at least be useful for detecting fraud and major error. Not so, says Smith:

    Peer review might also be useful for detecting errors or fraud. At the BMJ we did several studies where we inserted major errors into papers that we then sent to many reviewers. Nobody ever spotted all of the errors. Some reviewers did not spot any, and most reviewers spotted only about a quarter. Peer review sometimes picks up fraud by chance, but generally it is not a reliable method for detecting fraud because it works on trust.
    http://bastiat.mises.org/2014/07/aca...eview-process/
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  16. #134
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Fake science Journal articles, and it's effect on acceptable evi

    Interesting trend as Nature sees retractions on the rise.

    Nature, as we and others have noticed, has had what Paul Knoepfler referred to as a “torrent” of retractions in the past two years. That torrent — 13 research papers — has prompted a welcome and soul-searching editorial, as it did in 2010 when the journal had what it called an “unusually large number” of 4.

    As the editors write this week in “Retraction challenges:”

    For years, with occasional exceptions, Nature’s annual number of research-paper retractions tended to average around one or two. But over the past two years, we have seen a considerable rise — six in 2013, and seven, so far, in 2014. We have reviewed these and previous retractions and would like to make some observations on the basis of their content and on the experiences of publishing them.

    We thought it would be useful to unpack some of the claims in the editorial. First:

    A high proportion of Nature’s retractions in recent years have come about through honest error, where authors have either discovered mistakes themselves after publication, or have had the errors brought to their attention and taken action.

    The last 13 retractions of research papers from Nature — those that happened in 2013 or so far in 2014 — certainly involved cases of honest error and commendable conduct. But they also involved six cases in which there was fraud: STAP stem cells (2), Dhonukshe (2), Bezouska, and Kato. Even if the other seven resulted from honest error, “high proportion” is basically just over half — unless, of course “have had the errors brought to their attention and taken action” includes cases in which an investigation has found evidence of misconduct. That’s not a particularly robust definition of “honest error.”

    Next:

    Another observation is that negotiating some retractions can involve unavoidable delays of years because of some combination of the complexity of the science, disputes between co-authors, the need to await outcomes of lengthy investigations, and disputes over these proceedings. Journal editors have neither the authority nor the means to police authors or their institutions, and can be dependent on proceedings whose details are confidential to institutions. They also need to be sensitive to the interests of blameless co-authors.

    We would argue that journals like Nature actually have a tremendous amount of power. If Nature thinks that they “have neither the authority nor the means to police authors or their institutions,” the editors should sit down with Anesthesia & Analgesia editor in chief Steven Shafer, who gathered a consortium of journal editors that held institutions’ feet to the fire and led to retractions in the Joachim Boldt and Yoshitaka Fujii cases. One can only imagine how quickly a dean would return a call from Nature.

    And why not issue an expression of concern about papers during those years while it’s being investigated? How does Nature justify, for example, leaving the dance symmetry paper in the literature for for five years after authors requested a retraction? Unless, of course, you’re worried about losing those citations, the first two years of which will count toward your impact factor.

    And:

    Even when an institution and a journal both want a retraction, their interests in doing so may collide. An institution might be bound by confidentiality agreements and therefore unable to release the results of its scientific investigations, leaving editors in the dark as to the circumstances behind erroneous work. An institution may also wish the wording of the retraction to bolster its case against a wrong-doer, whereas a journal’s interest is to avoid lengthy disputes, push the paper into oblivion, and avoid further wasted effort by researchers. Whether for that reason or, occasionally, for legal reasons, we have concluded that we cannot usually use retraction statements as a means of highlighting wrong-doing.

    We’ve dealt with these “confidentiality agreements” before. Institutions are only bound by them because they want to be. (See second half of this post.) Why don’t journals — using the power they really do have — advocate for more transparency, and for universities to rid themselves of these agreements? If Nature feels that it “cannot usually use retraction statements as a means of highlighting wrong-doing,” then it takes as much responsibility as close-mouthed universities for allowing researchers guilty of fraud to move from position to position with impunity while others fight for grants.

    But it’s the numerous references to “legal”(4) and “lawyers” (1) that seem to tell the real story here:

    …the concerned should also pay attention to what must be increasing costs in legal fees, because those under investigation increasingly turn to lawyers to defend themselves and their reputations, and their employers and journals are more frequently having to respond accordingly. But whatever the obstacles, the duty to retract a demonstrably false paper remains paramount.

    We noticed the same thing in an editorial at Nature‘s sister journal, Nature Medicine, last year. Now, we know that libel laws are different in the UK, and the journal wants to avoid the kind of long, painful, and expensive case it had to fight — and win — in 2012. Nature would like to see UK libel laws reformed as much as anyone, so that truth can prevail. We wholeheartedly agree with their position. But in the meantime, we hope that the message of this editorial is that even if it is costly and draining, Nature will fight scientific fraudsters who threaten to sue them for telling the truth — not back down as soon as a scientist “lawyers up.”

    Here’s one line with which we can’t argue:

    Where authors make it clear that nothing more than an honest error was involved, their retraction should bring them credit.

    http://retractionwatch.com/2014/10/0...layed-notices/
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


 

 
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