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Monday, April 09, 2012

The intrinsic unreliability of science

Further evidence that science can only be trusted at the point it becomes engineering:
A former researcher at Amgen Inc has found that many basic studies on cancer -- a high proportion of them from university labs -- are unreliable, with grim consequences for producing new medicines in the future.

During a decade as head of global cancer research at Amgen, C. Glenn Begley identified 53 "landmark" publications -- papers in top journals, from reputable labs -- for his team to reproduce. Begley sought to double-check the findings before trying to build on them for drug development.

Result: 47 of the 53 could not be replicated. He described his findings in a commentary piece published on Wednesday in the journal Nature.
Fascinating. That's an 88.6 percent unreliability rate for landmark, gold-standard science. Imagine how bad it is in the stuff that is only peer-reviewed and isn't even theoretically replicable, like evolutionary biology. Keep that figure in mind the next time some secularist is claiming that we should structure society around scientific technocracy; they are arguing for the foundation of society upon something that has a reliability rate of 11 percent.

Now, I've noted previously that atheists often attempt to compare ideal science with real theology and noted that in a fair comparison, ideal theology trumps ideal science. But as we gather more evidence about the true reliability of science, it is becoming increasingly obvious that real theology also trumps real science. The selling point of science is supposed to be its replicability... so what is the value of science that cannot be repeated?

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous January 01, 2013 10:30 AM  

The article being quoted has been taken down from yahoo news, so the link is dead.

The same article may be found at http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/28/us-science-cancer-idUSBRE82R12P20120328.

Anonymous PhillipGeorge©2016 February 15, 2016 9:28 PM  

science, and I challenge you to do the word etymology just means "knowledge".
It's an epistemology question. How do you know anything? - at all, ever?

Empiricism is all of "technology", and "science", and "reproducibility" and "engineering" - or it's outlying "anomaly".

Mathematics is more pure philosophy, but also must be reproducible. Demonstrable. Logically coherent. Coherent meaning consistent cause and effect pathways.

So much of what passes as science is really hypothesis or thesis masquerading as deduction.

The problem is conflating theses into deduction.

Words are magical in today's sciences.

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