We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Studies frequently arrive at erroneous results. These are sometimes reported breathlessly by the press. When the results are contradicted, there is rarely a mention. Furthermore, negative studies often have difficulty getting published because they are unexciting.
How many people still think fatty meat causes heart disease? Many people never got the correction memo.
“Science isn’t about truth and falsity, it’s about reducing uncertainty,” he says. “Really this whole project is science on science: Researchers doing what science is supposed to do, which is be skeptical of our own process, procedure, methods, and look for ways to improve.”
Gee...science is about skepticism and reducing uncertainty? Someone should summon the AGW religious leaders and inform them.
There are 3 or 4 major players in any scientific "discovery/study". The scientists, the media, the politics and the government. The scientists may well be "mostly" honest but in fact over history the biggest scientific frauds were perpetrated by the scientist. The second group and very important in today's world is the media. It isn't uncommon for the media to write a headline about a study that the study itself and the facts cannot support. If it can be spun to fit their agenda or simply made to appear newsworthy than it will be spun to do so. The politics of it will often decide what can and what cannot be said/printed; The book The Bell Curve is an example of this as is AGW. And of course there is the government. The EPA has been distorting science for decades going back to banning DDT or the dioxin contamination in Times Beach which conveniently funneled billion$$$$ into a powerful Missouri congressman's district and made a contractor and various cronies incredibly rich. Nobody does scientific fraud like the government can and the money can be a thousand King's ransom. Where there is money and power to be had it can be very dangerous to disagree with your government.
Glass half-full maybe. We expect science to proceed in an ever-upward direction, at worst stalling and muddling for awhile, but never regressing. Perhaps that is not so with human beings. We aren't very good at changing our minds and believing things we don't like, after all.
Assistant Village Idiot