Saturday, June 4, 2016

ASCB Addresses Problem of False Science

The Most Important Recommendation of All

The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) task force on reproducibility in life science research has issued an undated white paper on scientific rigor. The problem is, as we discussed here and here, life science research has been found to lack reproducibility. John Ioannidis is a bit more blunt as he explains that “most published research findings are false,” and that “claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.” The ASCB white paper is no doubt a step in the right direction. It offers 13 recommendations to encourage more rigor in training, publishing, and standards. But the most important recommendation of all continues to be ignored.

Daniel Sarewitz has noted not only the problem of bias in scientific research but also the causes. Note his final thought in this quote:

All involved benefit from positive results, and from the appearance of progress. Scientists are rewarded both intellectually and professionally, science administrators are empowered and the public desire for a better world is answered. The lack of incentives to report negative results, replicate experiments or recognize inconsistencies, ambiguities and uncertainties is widely appreciated — but the necessary cultural change is incredibly difficult to achieve.

And so it is that science’s much touted self-correcting, feedback loop which ensures science converges on the truth (after all, that’s what Mr. Wells told us in seventh grade science class) is sometimes a little slow to act.

And if the ASCB is still needing to remind scientists to clean their beakers and use checklists, imagine the difficulty in achieving more fundamental change?

This brings us to the recommendation that ASCB did not make—the most important of all. And that is for science to free itself of the excessive metaphysics. Unfortunately, progress on that front is glacial. As Sarewitz notes, one reason bias persists, and is so harmful, is that in the moment it is not perceived as bias. Asking an evolutionist to stop with the metaphysics goes nowhere because it isn’t recognized as metaphysics. Deep philosophy is a part of their “science” as much as red meat is a part of hamburgers.

Even if the ASCB task force members wanted to address this fundamental problem, they wouldn’t for the backlash would be overwhelming and their professional reputations would be ruined.

So while the pipettes will be sterilized and results double checked to the third decimal point, ASCB will continue to publish junk science driven by the Epicurean mandate that the world must have arisen spontaneously. Unfortunately, the ASCB task force has missed the most important recommendation of all.


  1. John Ioannidis is a bit more blunt as he explains that “most published research findings are false,” and that “claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.”

    Science is much more about politics than science. This is true of all scientific fields, not just biology. The theory of general relativity is a case in point. It is a theory that forbids the existence of absolute motion and position (everything is relative) and postulates that information cannot travel from point A to point B faster than the speed of light. And yet, the very word "relative" implies instant knowledge between distant objects.

    The recent claim by the LIGO project team that gravitational waves have been detected is based on this false premise. Back in 1805, French mathematician and astronomer Pierre-Simon de Laplace calculated that the speed of gravity must be at least 7×10^6 times the speed of light in order for the moon to stay in its orbit around the earth. He was arguing against the Newtonian speculation that gravity could be due to some sort of flux emanating from massive bodies. More recently, Van Flandern refined the calculations and concluded that the speed of gravity must be millions of times faster than the speed of light in order to prevent orbital degeneration.

    Relativists are aware of this nasty little problem and have tried to explain it away with a cockamamie hypothesis that reminds me of the just-so stories of Darwinists. They claim that the sun somehow broadcasts information about its velocity at the speed of light. This way, the earth and other bodies in the solar system can somehow guess the approximate position of the sun even though they receive the information minutes or more after it was sent.

    This is not even wrong since the sun could not have any knowledge of its velocity relative to anything in the solar system. This would require an instantaneous communication between the earth and the sun, the very thing that general relativity forbids. Since this is not possible (Einstein was famously against action at a distance) according to GR, the sun would have to "know" its absolute velocity but this, too, is forbidden by the theory.

    It boggles the mind that relativists can get away with such blatant crackpottery. Politics rules everything in our world of lies. The only conclusion that one can draw from this is that LIGO is a scam. The taxpayer has been defrauded to the tune of billions of dollars by charlatans and crackpots in high places.

    1. Those of you who are interested can read relativist Steven Carlip's pseudoscientific explanation: Aberration and the Speed of Gravity.

      Here's a quote from the abstract (emphasis added):

      "By evaluating the gravitational effect of an accelerating mass, I show that aberration in general relativity is almost exactly canceled by velocity-dependent interactions, permitting cg=c."

      It's embarrassing to say the least.

    2. Truth, you are welcome. The problem for relativists is even worse than what I've already explained.

      Let us assume for the sake of argument that the relativist's hypothesis is correct. In order to communicate information about its relative velocity to other bodies, a massive object would have to encode it in a particle which would then travel at the speed of light out into space. Physicists call this particle, the graviton, a hypothetical particle that has never been found.

      The problem with the use of a mediating particle as the carrier of the gravitational force is that gravity, unlike the other forces, affects everything. This includes the gravitons themselves. This immediately introduces an infinite self-referential regress that throws a giant monkey wrench in the works. It is an insurmountable problem. But don't tell quantum gravity physicists about it. The graviton idea is one of their most beloved pet theories.

      But that is not all. Since physicists cannot account for the self-energy of the graviton, they have to use one of their favorite parlor tricks to explain away the obvious violation of the conservation of energy: physics via labeling. Just call the graviton "virtual" et voila! Problem solved. It is embarrassing, to say the least.

      I could go on with even more problems with the theory but it gets boring after a while. Now you know why they have never been able to unify general relativity with quantum physics. GR is a conceptual disaster.

  2. It's amazing that when you block comments by evolution supporters, Louis can string a sentence together without being overly abusiveness. Maybe censorship is worth it.

    1. " Lying to an acquaintance is one thing but lying to the entire world is a whole different."

      Yes, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    2. Opinions are a dime a dozen. This is why I wrote "IMO".

      But the clown gives his opinion as fact, just like lying Darwinists everywhere.

    3. "It's amazing that when you block comments by evolution supporters"

      Must have missed something. Are evolution supporters no longer permitted to post?

    4. Must have missed something. Are evolution supporters no longer permitted to post?

      Lying is a persistent character trait of Darwinists. There is something in Darwinism that is a powerful magnet for pathological liars.

    5. Cornelius
      I have been following your posts on the problems with common decent and find them credible. If all this is true are we facing billions of unexplained origin events? If so I think very few people including ID supporters realize this.

    6. Louis Savain's comments pose a dilemma for clown fish's moral subjectivism argument. Clown fish can disagree with Savain's inflammatory comments, but has no moral high ground from which to judge them. This is always the end result of moral subjectivism which is based solely on personal opinion.

    7. Truth,

      I am not trying to be inflammatory. I am being honest about what I believe. I tell it like I see it. Anything else would be hypocrisy.

  3. Sometime back, Ken Miller teamed up with the Thomas More Law Center (strange bedfellows) to conflate guidelines for incorporating ID material into evolution lessons with forcing teachers to say things that they believed weren't true. Seems like an impossible mission, but Miller was up to the challenge. What was even more ludicrous is how Miller started waxing self-righteous about allowing teachers to honor their commitment to the truth. Amazing how easily statism is dressed up as liberty these days. Maybe just as worrisome was his ultimate concern about "only a theory" stickers: They would undermine children's faith in science. At some point, "Science" started working by faith, and only works if a young generation believes in it unquestioningly--or at least it seems that way from Miller's perspective. Richard Feynman seems to have thought differently in saying that science "is the belief in the ignorance of experts" (or something like that).

  4. "And that is for science to free itself of the excessive metaphysics." Absolutely yes! But this has been your primary point from the beginning has it not. "Religion [metaphysics] drives science, and it matters."

  5. Bill Cole:

    If all this is true are we facing billions of unexplained origin events?

    Looking forward to an answer to this thoughtful question...

  6. Setterfield pretty much destroys GR absurdity. IMO philosophers who call themselves scientists will always choose the lie. It's their nature.