The View From 1776

Scientific Snake-Oil

      http://www.thomasbrewton.com/index.php/weblog/scientific_snake_oil/

Much of what passes for science today has credentials no more valid than those of 19th century carnival barkers touting their patented snake-oils as miraculous cures for all of mankind’s ailments.


From Darwinian evolution to “man-made” global warming, scientists too often start with a political agenda and cook the books to make their conclusions appear to be scientific.  Students are taught to believe anything that claims to be scientific, provided, of course, that it is certified as such by liberal-socialist-Progressive educators.

Darwinian evolution, concocted originally to discredit the Bible and to support the philosophical materialism of the socialist religion, can be challenged literally on thousands of points.  Al Gore’s “science,” adoringly endorsed by scientists and politicians, is so replete with falsehoods that it is little more than fiction.

As noted in Faith Unconquerable by Fact, when large research grants are in the balance, the tendency is to trumpet guesses as scientifically-proved fact. 

Most of the great scientific discoveries were made many decades ago by lone scientists, both amateurs and professionals, who were motivated by pursuit of knowledge, not fame and money.  Science in the age of Federal research grants has become a big business, a get-rich, fast lane to fame, and “scientists” have learned how to game the system.

Robert Lee Hotz, the Wall Street Journal‘s science editor, writes,


We all make mistakes and, if you believe medical scholar John Ioannidis, scientists make more than their fair share. By his calculations, most published research findings are wrong.

Dr. Ioannidis is an epidemiologist who studies research methods at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece and Tufts University in Medford, Mass. In a series of influential analytical reports, he has documented how, in thousands of peer-reviewed research papers published every year, there may be so much less than meets the eye…

These flawed findings, for the most part, stem not from fraud or formal misconduct, but from more mundane misbehavior: miscalculation, poor study design or self-serving data analysis. “There is an increasing concern that in modern research, false findings may be the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims,” Dr. Ioannidis said. “A new claim about a research finding is more likely to be false than true.”

The hotter the field of research the more likely its published findings should be viewed skeptically, he determined.”

The message is clear: if it is labeled scientific, it probably isn’t.