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Saturday, April 27, 2013

The business of progressive science

The Left is forever attempting to cloak its evil lunacies in the veil of scientific authority.  It has been doing so since Marx first claimed his socialism was "scientific". That is why they so ferociously defend St. Darwin and his holy theorum, why they try to portray political opposition as mental illness, and why, in the end, so many of the scientific studies to which they point turn out to be pure fabrications.
Stapel was an academic star in the Netherlands and abroad, the author of several well-regarded studies on human attitudes and behavior. That spring, he published a widely publicized study in Science about an experiment done at the Utrecht train station showing that a trash-filled environment tended to bring out racist tendencies in individuals. And just days earlier, he received more media attention for a study indicating that eating meat made people selfish and less social....

Stapel’s fraud may shine a spotlight on dishonesty in science, but scientific fraud is hardly new. The rogues’ gallery of academic liars and cheats features scientific celebrities who have enjoyed similar prominence. The once-celebrated South Korean stem-cell researcher Hwang Woo Suk stunned scientists in his field a few years ago after it was discovered that almost all of the work for which he was known was fraudulent. The prominent Harvard evolutionary biologist Marc Hauser resigned in 2011 during an investigation by the Office of Research Integrity at the Department of Health and Human Services that would end up determining that some of his papers contained fabricated data. 

Every year, the Office of Research Integrity uncovers numerous instances­ of bad behavior by scientists, ranging from lying on grant applications to using fake images in publications. A blog called Retraction Watch publishes a steady stream of posts about papers being retracted by journals because of allegations or evidence of misconduct. 

Each case of research fraud that’s uncovered triggers a similar response from scientists. First disbelief, then anger, then a tendency to dismiss the perpetrator as one rotten egg in an otherwise-honest enterprise. But the scientific misconduct that has come to light in recent years suggests at the very least that the number of bad actors in science isn’t as insignificant as many would like to believe. And considered from a more cynical point of view, figures like Hwang and Hauser are not outliers so much as one end on a continuum of dishonest behaviors that extend from the cherry-picking of data to fit a chosen hypothesis — which many researchers admit is commonplace — to outright fabrication. Still, the nature and scale of Stapel’s fraud sets him apart from most other cheating academics. “The extent to which I did it, the longevity of it, makes it extreme,” he told me. “Because it is not one paper or 10 but many more.” 

On a Sunday morning, as we drove to a village near Maastricht to see his parents, Stapel reflected on why his behavior had sparked such outrage in the Netherlands. “People think of scientists as monks in a monastery looking out for the truth,” he said. “People have lost faith in the church, but they haven’t lost faith in science. My behavior shows that science is not holy.”

What the public didn’t realize, he said, was that academic science, too, was becoming a business.
Science, particularly academic science, is now a big business, and it is an unusually corrupt one that is primarily dependent upon the media and government funding.  It has no practical external limitations upon it holding its businessmen accountable. As Stapel's example demonstrates, there is absolutely nothing - nothing - reliable about it.  This point should be driven home every single time anyone makes the absurd claim that science is the best, or the only, arbiter of truth and reality.

Here is how bad the corruption is: Stapel was actually teaching a graduate seminar on research ethics. Notice too that all of the established academics who caught wind of the fraud not only looked the other way, but advised others to do so as well.

We have a word for real and genuine science that is reliable enough to be trustworthy.  Engineering.

"At the end of November, the universities unveiled their final report at a joint news conference: Stapel had committed fraud in at least 55 of his papers, as well as in 10 Ph.D. dissertations written by his students. The students were not culpable, even though their work was now tarnished. The field of psychology was indicted, too, with a finding that Stapel’s fraud went undetected for so long because of “a general culture of careless, selective and uncritical handling of research and data.” If Stapel was solely to blame for making stuff up, the report stated, his peers, journal editors and reviewers of the field’s top journals were to blame for letting him get away with it."

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64 Comments:

Blogger wrf3 April 27, 2013 1:38 PM  

Vox wrote: Notice too that all of the established academics who caught wind of the fraud not only looked the other way, but advised others to do so as well.

Not quite all. As the article says:

The two students decided to report the charges to the department head, Marcel Zeelenberg. But they worried that Zeelenberg, Stapel’s friend, might come to his defense. To sound him out, one of the students made up a scenario about a professor who committed academic fraud, and asked Zeelenberg what he thought about the situation, without telling him it was hypothetical. “They should hang him from the highest tree” if the allegations were true, was Zeelenberg’s response, according to the student.

The students waited till the end of summer, when they would be at a conference with Zeelenberg in London. “We decided we should tell Marcel at the conference so that he couldn’t storm out and go to Diederik right away,” one of the students told me.

In London, the students met with Zeelenberg after dinner in the dorm where they were staying. As the night wore on, his initial skepticism turned into shock. It was nearly 3 when Zeelenberg finished his last beer and walked back to his room in a daze. In Tilburg that weekend, he confronted Stapel.

So Zeelenberg, the department head, did the right thing when confronted with the evidence.

Anonymous MrGreenMan April 27, 2013 1:40 PM  

If they returned to having REPETITION as a key component of professional science, they would have far fewer of these. However, you can't get a lefty government grant officer to get excited about repetition of some other study; they need something new that will advocate for the cause du jour.

"If you spend more than 30 minutes peer reviewing an article you are a bad researcher." -- One of my advisors in graduate screwall, repeating what was the institution's official position.

Anonymous VD April 27, 2013 1:47 PM  

So Zeelenberg, the department head, did the right thing when confronted with the evidence.

The students were so convinced he would do otherwise that they had to gather all the evidence themselves and then ambush him with it at a time when he couldn't go and talk to Stapel... and even then he reacted skeptically. Do you really think he would have investigated himself if they'd only gone to him with their suspicions?

You can't give the guy too much credit for doing the right thing when others boxed him into a corner first.

Anonymous kh123 April 27, 2013 1:50 PM  

But remember, the fossil and DNA evidence speaks to us. They just have to be rolled enough times to show how pure chance can apparently do it all.

Anonymous rubberducky April 27, 2013 1:51 PM  

I'd go further by saying that even if we didn't have the government grant chase, corporate bucks in research, and activist NGO's looking for political levers, science would still find a way to corrupt itself. The problem is this: science is a human endeavor. To grant it some special epistemic power based on the scientific method or something is, in effect, to grant it the power of magic.

Oh sure, I fully expect an argument to spring up in defense of the scientific method, peer review, etc. Used to believe all that myself. But here's the hard truth: rarely, very very rarely, is the scientific method actually employed in science. The reason all these frauds get through the gate is because they know nobody's going to repeat their experiments, or if they do (this is rare) things can be set up to account for differences in outcomes.

I was a part of a team that actually did question the prevailing wisdom a widely accepted scientific truth in my industry. It was accepted due to the outcome of one experiment done 20 years ago, whose results shaped the thinking and the methods of the entire industry from that point forward. Immediate problems arose the second we began. Results didn't match up. We went back to the guys who published the original paper. Surprise, they lost all their data. Original results could not be verified, vouchsafed, or repeated in any way. Finally, in reconstructing the data it emerged that the whole thing had been cherry picked and also portions largely made up from whole cloth. For no good reason, I can tell, than to make a splash.

Science is governed by prevailing paradigms and by egos. That's it.

Blogger Log April 27, 2013 2:00 PM  

Concluding that data is fraudulent is the result of a design inference. Therefore, according to some, such conclusions are outside of science... but aren't we told science is self-correcting?

Anonymous GreyS April 27, 2013 2:00 PM  

Cue--- "But he was caught by other scientists, so you see -- science is self-correcting and reliable."

Blogger wrf3 April 27, 2013 2:05 PM  

Vox asked: Do you really think he would have investigated himself if they'd only gone to him with their suspicions?

Neither you nor I have any way of knowing. I can only judge what he actually did. If Markku accused you of plagiarism I suspect someone like A. Man would be on you like white on rice. Jamsco might want more evidence before being willing to admit the worst about a trusted friend. Nate wouldn't believe the evidence against you any more than he believes the evidence for moon landings. Stickwick, having a life and her own papers to write, might appoint an independent committee to investigate the matter. And so on.

Is that a fair categorization of the Ilk? Maybe. Maybe not.

Zeelenberg ended up in the right spot. He doesn't deserve being painted with the "everyone looked the other way" brush.

Anonymous Alec April 27, 2013 2:07 PM  

"Any sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from engineering" - Me

Anonymous Noah B. April 27, 2013 2:14 PM  

Once politics gets involved, engineering often isn't all that neat and clean either.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 27, 2013 2:20 PM  

The problem is this: science is a human endeavor. To grant it some special epistemic power based on the scientific method or something is, in effect, to grant it the power of magic.

Oh, the Scientific Method and Peer Review (of the sort that involves peers actually repeating the experiment and obtaining the same results) are quite valuable and useful. Powerful even. But they don't work without the power of shame behind them, something sorely lacking in our society. Also without the power of sanctions, real and painful ones.

Look at this case here - Stapel gets an interview and photo shoot with the NYT. He gets a book deal to write about his fraud. He still lives in what sounds like a nice house in a nice neighborhood. Frankly he probably should be in jail for theft of public resources.

It doesn't matter what field of endeavor - whether it's science, religion, business, etc., if the inevitable con men don't suffer serious consequences when they are discovered, the field will collapse. The only reason Engineering doesn't fall into the same boat is that observable reality tends to derail frauds early in their careers, before they can blow up a very big bubble.

Anonymous Stickwick April 27, 2013 2:20 PM  

Science is governed by prevailing paradigms and by egos. That's it.

rubberducky, you made a similar statement in this thread, to which I responded. You have some valid points, but I think you're overstating your case.

Anonymous VD April 27, 2013 2:37 PM  

Zeelenberg ended up in the right spot. He doesn't deserve being painted with the "everyone looked the other way" brush.

Sure he does. He was in charge of the program, he was in charge of overseeing Stapel, and he clearly never once looked into the legitimacy of the guy's work despite the fact that the guy was openly operating in an unusual manner. Even if we only judge him by what he actually did, he is clearly at fault here.

Anonymous Grinder April 27, 2013 2:48 PM  

If someone designs a bridge and it collapses once it is tested by rush hour traffic, it is clear that the engineers responsible erred. In universities, sciences and especially the social sciences have been so thoroughly infected by charlatans who are able to keep up their lies where even a complete collapse of their theories is met with trickery/excuses.
The sciences have become obstacles to expanding knowledge. Post-grads become further emotionally invested into their flawed models (as in economics) or long unchallenged theories (as in archaeology/anthropology).

Anonymous GreyS April 27, 2013 2:56 PM  

Zeelenberg definitely deserves some blame and further suspicion. He was a very good friend and was the boss of the star of the department who committed fraud in at least 65 papers. As V says, he only helped out when the students cornered him.

I'm guessing the conversation between Zeelenberg and Stapel went a little bit differently than this report recounts.

Anonymous Noah B. April 27, 2013 3:00 PM  

"Frankly he probably should be in jail for theft of public resources."

Unquestionably. And if scientists want to be taken seriously, they need to be the most outspoken advocates of punishing those who commit fraud.

Anonymous Idle Spectator April 27, 2013 3:22 PM  

Once politics gets involved, engineering often isn't all that neat and clean either.

Oh yes, like in the Soviet Union. Lavrentiy Beria was in charge of their nuclear bomb project.

Anonymous David of One April 27, 2013 3:27 PM  

"My behavior shows that science is not holy." - Staple

His behavior & his statement above is an indictment against all this is holy and all that is science.

Is his behavior science? No.

I think it could be argued that his work is not only fraudulent but he himself is a fraud.

Is he a scientist? Not likely, and maybe never was or will ever be. It would seem that within the realm of "science" there definitely needs to be banishment of individuals that violate all the rules of conduct by willful intent and then blame everything & everyone else.

His ability to be dishonest, rationalize, blame others, take responsibility for nothing sounds altogether like another gamma male discussed often amongst the Ilk.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 27, 2013 4:19 PM  

The sciences have become obstacles to expanding knowledge. Post-grads become further emotionally invested into their flawed models (as in economics) or long unchallenged theories (as in archaeology/anthropology).

And this is inevitable whenever the laws of nature aren't part of the feedback loop. You can't bullshit gravity. If gravity plays an important part in your feedback loop, you're probably protected against frauds because they won't make it past their first scam without being exposed (especially if you use the alleged Roman practice of having the engineer beneath his arch when the scaffolding comes down).

But if gravity, or some other implacable force of nature, isn't part of your evaluation, then rabbitology takes over. You're being evaluated based on how well you conform to one or another guild, and as you rise in the ranks, on how well you further the interests of your guild. Rival guilds fight to control their turf - look at the intensity different anthropology groups fight over the question of how Amerindians got to North America. You're entire career investment is in gaining status within your guild. Breaking with it is career suicide. The whole process of non-engineering (as opposed to pre-engineering) science is locking into producing dead-enders.

Blogger GF Dad April 27, 2013 4:22 PM  

Can I use that?

Anonymous kh123 April 27, 2013 4:26 PM  

"He doesn't deserve being painted with the "everyone looked the other way" brush."

I can appreciate what you're getting at here, and the why.

But the fact remains that they had to lacquer Zeelenberg up in a foreign country for several hours before he could arrive at the truth. And that only after the pre "Thou art the man" type setup some months before. Quite a bit of planning to convince someone whose job it was to be on the lookout for such things. It's like taking a cop from Chicago on a European cruise before convincing him that, yes, crime does indeed occur, and sometimes within the very walls of his own precinct.

Anonymous kh123 April 27, 2013 4:29 PM  

...How much of this parallels the Penn State scenario, Paterno's handling of the situation.

Blogger GF Dad April 27, 2013 4:31 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger GF Dad April 27, 2013 4:49 PM  

Wasn't the scientific method born from a Christian worldview where the goal was to understand the created universe in an effort to understand and glorify God? In turn, Christian ethics acted to keep the process honest.

Remove the worldview and the grounds for the ethical framework is removed.

Blogger Doom April 27, 2013 5:25 PM  

What was it I called them? Ah, right, Satan's own monks. I think... that fits in nicely with his statements along with what he understands of people's faith. Yes indeed.

Blogger bethyada April 27, 2013 5:27 PM  

You can't even critique them.

A case in Denmark had a PhD student critiquing a professor's work. The professor ended on the exam panel not dismissing herself for a conflict of interest, and the student failed.

Peer-review is often not anonymous amongst themselves but anonymous to the outside world, and is filled with colleagues assessing each other's work. So if you want to challenge the current official version or dispute ideologies...

Anonymous 445supermag April 27, 2013 5:32 PM  

We have a word for real and genuine science that is reliable enough to be trustworthy. Engineering.

No, they are different. Engineers design and/or create physical tools (or software tools, if they are software engineers), scientists design knowledge tools.

Anonymous Idle Spectator April 27, 2013 5:40 PM  

Right away Stapel expressed what sounded like heartfelt remorse for what he did to his students. "I have fallen from my throne — I am on the floor," he said, waving at the ground. "I am in therapy every week. I hate myself." That afternoon and in later conversations, he referred to himself several times as tall, charming or handsome, less out of arrogance, it seemed, than what I took to be an anxious desire to focus on positive aspects of himself that were demonstrably not false.

Stapel did not deny that his deceit was driven by ambition. But it was more complicated than that, he told me. He insisted that he loved social psychology but had been frustrated by the messiness of experimental data, which rarely led to clear conclusions. His lifelong obsession with elegance and order, he said, led him to concoct sexy results that journals found attractive. "It was a quest for aesthetics, for beauty — instead of the truth," he said. He described his behavior as an addiction that drove him to carry out acts of increasingly daring fraud, like a junkie seeking a bigger and better high.

Just... how full of shit is this guy?

If I pricked him with a pin, would methane gas escape the cavity and poison everyone in the classroom?

He would fit right in the Pen. Everyone is innocent in here, don't you know that? Lawyer fucked me. I didn't mean to rape that woman, something just came over me!

Anonymous map April 27, 2013 5:45 PM  

It is once again proven that a humble field like accounting has more peer review than even the sciences. Why? There is a whole field called "audit" devoted to checking the reliability of other accountants. No such audit exists in the sciences.

Can we finally agree that this problem would be solved by simply allowing students to discharge their student loans on bankruptcy?

Anonymous Idle Spectator April 27, 2013 5:50 PM  

"It was a quest for aesthetics, for beauty — instead of the truth,"

...is up there with "mistakes were made" or "what is is."

"I found Jesus! He's over here with me!" is next.

He hated himself, but not enough to stop, did he? OH GOD can we please put this man in a burlap sack and beat him with academic journals?

Anonymous VD April 27, 2013 5:53 PM  

...How much of this parallels the Penn State scenario, Paterno's handling of the situation.

Not very much. It would be more akin to Paterno conveniently failing to notice that Sandusky's defense was using 15 men on the field... for years.

Blogger GF Dad April 27, 2013 6:09 PM  

" scientists design knowledge tools." - nothing but elitist hokum. Lotus eaters.

Anonymous Big Bill April 27, 2013 6:13 PM  

He produced papers that were in line with liberal orthodoxy and therefore they were not challenged or checked.

Lysenko did the same in Russia.

I am surprised he is still walking the streets in Holland. In the USA, a confession that many years worth of Federal research dollars were fraudulently obtained would send you to prison.

Apparently the Dutch are more understanding.

Anonymous rubberducky April 27, 2013 6:16 PM  

Stickwick, I've gone back and read what you posted on the other thread. I think you do a good job defending the scientific method. It does have great merit, this is not contested. My complaint in fact includes the critique that the scientific method is not used often enough. Or even often. No, the point of contention is "What governs science?" To which I answer ego. Science is guided by the all to familiar problems of power, prestige, reputation, personal stakes on paradigms, and all the interlocking commitments we find in any human endeavor.

I imagine that years ago I must have sounded very much like you do, and also that I would have risen to defend the honor of science in much the same way that you have now. But after twenty years of toil in a scientific research lab I'm afraid I'm disabused of all my earlier idealism. We are likely to have been sent off on a decades long goat rope of wasted man-years and considerable money and effort, I was, thanks to what becomes the illusion of "settled science" that, on inspection, was never even done at all. Sure, cratons of rock solid science exist. At the moment. Subject to change. We'll see. Frankly, assuming everything's wrong is probably the sole sane strategy.

The adjunct problem, the one that has occasioned this discussion on the whole as well as my critique of science itself, is one of epistemology. Specifically we have the case of those whom many have fingered to have fallen under the spell of 'scientism'. The tendency here is to misappropriate the epistemic powers of science and apply them outside their domain. This domain skew never seems to stop among biologists. But it also happens among the most towering members of your own field, astrophysics, as anybody who as ever suffered through one of Stephen Hawking's interminable TV serials can attest. Couldn't believe the last one I watched. Does he ever stop talking about that god he believes is a waste of time? When is the physics going to start? But I suppose I digress.

Anonymous physphilmusic April 27, 2013 6:49 PM  

rubberducky, you made a similar statement in this thread, to which I responded. You have some valid points, but I think you're overstating your case.

Reading your response to rubberducky, I would agree with most of the points, but your description of science probably is probably best applied to experimental. I am starting to have doubts and concerns about the conduct of theoretical physicists in fields like string theory, where there is no immediate experimental verification of theoretical hypotheses. If you read the blog of string theorist Lubos Motl, you can see that his attachment to string theory is almost as intense as a leftist's attachment to equality. That is a very dangerous attitude.

Blogger tz April 27, 2013 7:16 PM  

Science is both full of holes and unholy.

Engineering - well there is the Tacoma Narrow's bridge. Or Windows (<3.1, or many others), JAVA (just another vulnerability advisory)...

Anonymous Mike M. April 27, 2013 7:58 PM  

Ah, but Engineering is subject to verification - whether you like it or not.

Not to mention the Blood Warranty. Many engineering fields have customs where the engineer puts his life behind his work. The designers of a ship will ride it down the ways when it's launched. The designer of a bridge will stand under it when the first vehicles cross it. It's not 100%...but enough to remind you of the consequences of failure.

Anonymous Nathan April 27, 2013 8:16 PM  

I've long thought that the theoretical side of science was losing it, especially when all the science magazines started coming out with theories that the scientists proposing claimed could never be proven by experiment. Not that they didn't have the means now, that no one would have the means ever.

The Left likes to rail against faith diluting science. Meanwhile science itself falls under the abandoning of principle and method for advocacy and infatuation with unprovable models.

Anonymous Monsignor Nose April 27, 2013 8:29 PM  

The only "science" leftist academics and their spokesmen in the media seem to have a thorough grasp of is the science of propaganda. Lies and propaganda are their stock in trade.

Anonymous JI April 27, 2013 8:38 PM  

One part of this is that negative results do not usually get published. There's always the search for the significant p-value, and so many decent studies that yielded no effect found get filed away without being published. Among other issues with this approach is that the very definition of statistical significance is distorted.

Anonymous Eric Blair aka. I Told You April 27, 2013 8:54 PM  

"Plus, the big problem is timing the language to scientific advance."

Smith: 'Yes'

"It is a beautiful thing the destruction of words. You haven't seen the dictionary 10th edition yet. It's that thick. The 11th edition will be that thick (motions half)."

Smith: That's when the revolution will be complete when the language is perfect."

1984

Anonymous rycamor April 27, 2013 9:58 PM  

GF Dad April 27, 2013 4:49 PM

Wasn't the scientific method born from a Christian worldview where the goal was to understand the created universe in an effort to understand and glorify God? In turn, Christian ethics acted to keep the process honest.

Remove the worldview and the grounds for the ethical framework is removed.


And now we have "science" showing us that analytic thinking decreases religious belief (I really love the quality of the research methodology they used).

Anonymous Jack Amok April 27, 2013 10:13 PM  

Engineering - well there is the Tacoma Narrow's bridge.

Yes, but Galloping Gertie was a genuine case of "wow, we didn't know that happened!" The bridge was built with the best knowledge and standards at the time, but fluid dynamics was not well understood yet, and nobody knew such things as shedding eddies existed. The Tacoma Narrows bridge was just the right size and shape for the wind to hit harmonic resonance with the bridge structure.

So the bridge fell down.

But there was no fraud or deceit*. Structural engineers figured out what had happened, and incorporated that knowledge into future bridges.

* actually, there was fraud involved, but it was from the finance sector. The insurance agent who sold Washington State one of the policies on the bridge pocketed the commission instead of writing the policy.

Anonymous Mudz April 27, 2013 10:28 PM  

What the public didn’t realize, he said, was that academic science, too, was becoming a business.

Public must be a little slow. Crichton out and out said this in his 'intro' piece to Jurassic Park.

Anonymous Stickwick April 27, 2013 11:36 PM  

GF Dad is correct. There's a simple reason for the corruption of biology and the social sciences: these studies are not based on Christian beliefs and faith the way science originally was and must always be. Modern science developed in only one place -- Christian Europe. If you look up the great pioneers of physics and astronomy you will find that they were almost all devout Christians, from Copernicus to Galileo to Newton to Maxwell to Planck to Lemaitre. The one glaring exception was Einstein, but even he famously said, "I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details."

Even though Einstein was not Christian, he was the product of the Christian European culture that gave birth to science, and he was a willing participant in a process based on Christian principles:

But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. (Albert Einstein, 1941)

The prime motivation of Einstein and so many other great figures in science was to uncover divine truth and know the mind of God. People who feel they are doing God's work are far less likely to succumb to human frailties and engage in activities that corrupt the search for truth. That tradition remains strong in physics, the original science. That is why the field of astrophysics was able to resist the degenerative effects of an increasingly atheist society. When the devout Lemaitre conceived of the primeval atom (aka big bang theory) and demonstrated that the Genesis account of a universe with a beginning was scientifically sound, the stubborn resistance of scientists with a hatred for the idea of God was quickly overcome by the evidence.

The other branches of science have not fared as well. Atheists stole science from Christians in the mid and late 19th century with the false social science of Marx and behavioral science of Freud as well as the misuse of Darwin's theory of evolution and the gross misrepresentation of Christian scripture. Over the last century and a half, secular humanists have successfully alienated Christians from the scientific method the faithful created and taken over most of its areas of study. Physics still has a substantial minority of Christians (and people with a general belief in God), and much good work is still being done. The social and behavior studies, on the other hand, are the tools of secular humanism and the zombies of the scientific world -- active but not alive. Biology was bitten long ago and is gradually succumbing to the humanist infection. There is an easy way to tell a zombie biologist from a true biological scientist; ask him to say the following words, "Darwin was seriously wrong about some important things." If he can’t bring himself to say this, you are speaking with one of the walking dead. Climate change 'scientists' are just garden-variety corrupt hacks who have sold out for money, prestige, and political favors. Bundle up for the coming ice age or thank the polluters for preventing it.

The lesson here is that the further any area of study is from the Christian foundations of true science, the more corrupt it is. The United States has been the source of a great deal of the productive science done in the 20th and early 21st centuries. It is also the most Christian of all developed countries. If atheists succeed in turning the United States into anything similar to what the formerly Christian European nations now are, science will die and humankind will experience a dark age.

Blogger GF Dad April 27, 2013 11:43 PM  

rycamor said, " And now we have "science" showing us that analytic thinking decreases religious belief (I really love the quality of the research methodology they used)."
That belief system (reason is anathema to faith) is common in some fundamental churches. As a child, every time I would ask a question, some adult, usually my parents, would say something like, " Boy , ya thinkin bout this way too much. Ya jus gotta have faith." As a result, I became a theistic evolutionist who wasn't sure the god of the bible wasn't just a cosmic interloper and regardless of what that answer was, I was pissed at him and them anyway. We were taught that scripture was way too complicated for a layman to understand and I decided that if that were the case, evangelicals were not much different from pre reformation Catholics - same song, different dance. And if they couldn't or wouldn't defend what they belived, there must not be any substance there anyway.
One day, about four years after I had graduated from college, I got word that one the most respected professors in the electrical engineering department was going to do a six session creationism seminar at the church I attended. If anyone else had taught that course, I would have dismissed it as hokum, but not Dr. Voss. The whole time I was in school, I had no idea what his beliefs were, but I knew if he believed it, there must be some substance there.
His presentation was excellent and based upon his own research as well as the research of others. I later confirmed some of what he said through independent verification or travel to places he cited and viewing what he had shown us.
Through that process, God restored my simple faith that I had when I was very young as well as giving me a basis for an rationed and analytical approach to the Christian faith. So reason/logic rather than undermining faith can support and deepen one's faith.

Anonymous Stickwick April 27, 2013 11:54 PM  

I am starting to have doubts and concerns about the conduct of theoretical physicists in fields like string theory, where there is no immediate experimental verification of theoretical hypotheses. If you read the blog of string theorist Lubos Motl, you can see that his attachment to string theory is almost as intense as a leftist's attachment to equality. That is a very dangerous attitude.

[Full disclosure: I'm actually quite intrigued by string theory and, for philosophical reasons, believe it has merit; however, I don't believe it has yet achieved the status of 'science' for the reason you mention.] This could be a watershed moment for physics. But we can do a simple test to see whether things have seriously veered off course: compare the behavior of physicists with that of evolutionary biologists or the social scientists. Currently there is heated debate within the community about whether string theory is philosophy or science, so that's a good sign. And one of its biggest proponents, Brian Greene, gave significant airtime in his NOVA series, The Elegant Universe, to string theory's biggest critics without denigrating them in any way, and that's a very good sign, too. This is the turbulent interplay between human nature and the pursuit of science I talked about in the other thread, and it shows that the old spirit of science is still alive in physics. The way you'll know physics is in serious trouble is if physicists ever announce that the debate is settled in favor string theory being science, at least as it stands now in terms of its lack of experimental verification. I'm keeping my eye on things, but so far see no reason for alarm.

Anonymous TheExpat April 28, 2013 12:39 AM  

To sound him out, one of the students made up a scenario about a professor who committed academic fraud, and asked Zeelenberg what he thought about the situation, without telling him it was hypothetical. “They should hang him from the highest tree” if the allegations were true, was Zeelenberg’s response, according to the student.

The students unknowingly(?) used a compliance principle that is similar to the Foot-in-the-door technique where getting the subject to agree to a lesser request increases the chances (opens the door) of them agreeing to a larger, similar request. By getting Zeelenberg to commit himself to the hypothetical, they backed him into a corner where his only choices were congruency or blatant hypocrisy.

Used consciously, this and other compliance techniques can be excellent Black Knighting strategies.

Anonymous BillB April 28, 2013 12:43 AM  

Without honest science there is no engineering. And there are honest scientists. They are few in number but they exist and attempt to find "truth". The first thing a real scientist does is to let the data lead them rather than manipulating the data to fit some mispreconceptions.

Engineers are not so brilliant that they can work without the benefit of scientific research in physics and chemistry. Scientists are the why people. Engineers take the why and figure out the what, that is the use of the science. I've watched numerous engineers attempt to feign scientific research, flailing and failing along the way.

The central purpose of the PhD is to learn how to separate one's expectations from what one discovers through research, to let the data lead thee.

Publish or perish forces those who are unwilling to stand up for honesty to lie, cheat, and steal to get ahead. Because of the many who fit that mould, those who honestly search after facts are pushed to the side.

Anonymous Mina April 28, 2013 1:08 AM  

Engineering is an immediate gratification science. What you designed and built works or it fails. Said function or failure is observable to every person who witnesses it.

Can't get more honest than that.

People who love immediate, honest feedback love engineering.

Anonymous Mina April 28, 2013 1:32 AM  

"Engineers are not so brilliant that they can work without the benefit of scientific research in physics and chemistry." - they are most times very dependent on good reliable data being available as design inputs. Without them dramatic failures like the Tacoma bridge can happen.

Bad data, unavailable data or data the engineers neglect to secure as part of their project can all be categorized under "did not have good reliable data" since they all will produce similar results.

As to that, engineers aren't really scientists but more the practical application of science.

Anonymous Mina April 28, 2013 1:41 AM  

Yes, but Galloping Gertie was a genuine case of "wow, we didn't know that happened!" The bridge was built with the best knowledge and standards at the time, but fluid dynamics was not well understood yet, and nobody knew such things as shedding eddies existed.

I'm not sure this is entirely correct. I can remember stories about bridges falling down from soldiers marching across them in the late 1770's/1800's due to the tempo and speed of their marching producing eigenvalues matching the bridges.

Found it: "Angers Bridge, also called the Basse-Chaîne Bridge, was a suspension bridge over the Maine River in Angers, France. It was designed by Joseph Chaley and Bordillon, and built between 1836 and 1839.[1] The bridge collapsed on April 16, 1850, while a battalion of French soldiers was marching across it, killing over 200 of them."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angers_Bridge

So Galloping Gertie was probably less a case "we didn't know" and more a case of "neglected to gather all input data" ... categorized under "missing data" - Which produced predictable results and hopefully much embarrassment for the team who designed it.

Anonymous Mina April 28, 2013 2:07 AM  

My mistake. That was not the cause of the failure of the Tacoma Bridge. Fluid dynamics explains it, not natural frequency.

I always learn something new here.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 28, 2013 3:35 AM  

Mina,

Yes, Gertie was a genuine surprise. But even so, it was strong enough to handle the harmonic waves so long as they stayed aligned. What caused the failure was when a torsional flexing started, with the bridge not just bouncing up and down by twisting as well.

BillB,

Engineers are not so brilliant that they can work without the benefit of scientific research

Bullshit. The best scientists are engineers, whatever their paycheck says. They design and build equipment to perform experiments, and that equipment either works or they go back to the drawing board. "Scientists" who don't do engineering are just philosophers who can do math (and it seems the "Scientific Community" is hell-bent of getting rid of that requirement as well).

Anonymous Jack Amok April 28, 2013 3:42 AM  

Oh, and OT, but for our False Flag Aficionados, have you seen Sailer's post that the Uncle of the Boston Bomber Bros was married to the daughter of the CIA station chief in Kabul who started the Iran-Contra deal?

Anonymous TheVillageIdiotRet April 28, 2013 9:00 AM  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xox9BVSu7Ok
Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse
people actually tried to drive their cars across this

DannyR

Anonymous Gould K.L. Brownlee April 28, 2013 11:30 AM  

One of the unforeseen consequences of the Leftist pathology being injected into mainstream culture by those sanctimonious brats and twits, the hippies, is that not only are "cool" people freed from the constraints of morals and ethics and standards, but so is everybody else. The hippies and their ilk loftily assumed that they were a new evolution of Man; that they were ubermenschen who could responsibly handle their new status as transcendent prometheans who needed to be above the eternal verities in order to bless the ignorant masses with their wisdom and awesome party skills. What they didn't count on is that the despised masses would happily embrace this evil paradigm. What the stinking hippies also missed was the fact that their lives as spoiled brats and Leftist parasites was only possible because they lived in the most successful and tolerant civilization in history; a civilization built by hard-working, intelligent White people, most of whom at least paid lip service to the Christian ideal. That's all gone now. The Leftist parasites have finally killed the host. That affirmative-action parasite and common criminal Obama is the logical conclusion of the Leftist pathology. We in our death throes as a civilization. Perhaps we can make something new if we rediscover God, but what we had is gone. Leftist brats, traitors and cowards with their third-world savage foot soldiers have destroyed it utterly.

Anonymous CorbettReport dot com April 28, 2013 2:05 PM  

for our False Flag Aficionados, have you seen Sailer's post that the Uncle of the Boston Bomber Bros was married to the daughter of the CIA station chief in Kabul who started the Iran-Contra deal?


Former FBI turned whistelblower Sibel Edmonds has been pointing out over the last decade the Intel network that has created the "terrorists".
Gladio (part B)

Anonymous Oil Companies are Intel April 28, 2013 2:14 PM  

"For an Armenian to convert to Islam is like finding a unicorn in a field," Nerses Zurabyan, 32, an information technology director who lives in nearby Cambridge told USA Today.

Blogger GF Dad April 28, 2013 2:31 PM  

" The best scientists are engineers, whatever their paycheck says.". Well said.


Engineering isn't just a body of knowledge, it is a discipline. Science used to be a discipline too, one that guys called scientists practiced. Now the title "scientist" has more in common with "priest" or "rabbi" than "engineer".

Blogger tz April 28, 2013 7:51 PM  

Nothing new - as nations drift leftward. Lysenko must have got high marx in college.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2013/04/28/the-disgraceful-episode-of-lysenkoism-brings-us-global-warming-theory/

Anonymous HH April 28, 2013 8:36 PM  

VD says "Science, particularly academic science, is now a big business, and it is an unusually corrupt one that is primarily dependent upon the media and government funding"

For someone who makes a living at writing I wonder about why you describe this as "unusually corrupt" ... does that mean you agree that science is usually honest and this is an unique and not often occurring ...as a opposed to the usually corrupt things like wall street, banking, any government or politician, global corps, law enforcement, fox news ... :)

Anonymous Blaster April 30, 2013 11:02 AM  

Scientist haters who are having trouble accepting that some academic scientists do, in fact, produce real, useful knowledge outside the field of engineering specific might do well to read the following blog entry:

http://matt.might.net/articles/my-sons-killer/

My son Bertrand has a new genetic disorder.

Patient 0.

To find it, a team of scientists at Duke University used whole-exome sequencing (a protein-focused variant of whole-genome sequencing) on me, my wife and my son.

We discovered that my son inherited two different (thus-far-unique) mutations in the same gene--the NGLY1 gene--which encodes the enzyme N-glycanase 1. Consequently, he cannot make this enzyme.

My son is the only human being known to lack this enzyme.

Below, I'm documenting our journey to the unlikeliest of diagnoses.

This is a story about the kind of hope that only science can provide.

Anonymous Anonymous May 02, 2013 2:27 PM  

Sadly Progressive science is generally politically motivated and as everyone knows politics is by it's nature corrupt.
http://www.teapartyperspective.com/2013/05/01/the-cult-of-progressive-science/

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