Questions Rise About What Scientists Really Know

Several recent stories have appeared which casts doubt on the integrity of the scientific method and in some cases the ability for scientists to solve mysteries about the real world in which we live in.  A major scandal broke which exposed 90 peer-review papers from over a decade of being fraudulent, leaving some to ask, “how is this possible?”

The UK Telegraph reports…

“Joachim Boldt is at the centre of a criminal investigation amid allegations that he may have forged up to 90 crucial studies on the treatment. He has been stripped of his professorship and sacked from a German hospital following allegations about his research into drugs known as colloids.

Experts described Mr Boldt’s alleged forgeries as possibly the biggest medical research scandal since Andrew Wakefield was struck off last year for falsely claiming to have proved a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.”

What makes this very disturbing about this is the fact that the fake research put people’s lives at risk by treatments given under the authority of science!  Boldt forged names of co-authors in his papers, conducted drug trials without approval, and stolen money from people by getting paid for operations that he never performed. The fake operations may not have been solely for the income but rather a front for impressing manufacturers of the expensive colloid medicines.

A fellow medical researcher was shocked and dismayed, “For me, it shakes the world I work in and makes me feel less confident in it, and if I were a member of the public I would feel the same,” he said. On another front, remember how health professionals told us that free radicals in food are to be avoided which is why antioxidants became so popular.

Well, this article in Science Daily may raise a few eyeballs…

“Free radicals are molecules that react readily with other substances in the body, and this can have negative effects on health in certain circumstances, through the damage caused to cells. Free radicals can be counteracted by substances known as ‘antioxidants’, which are common ingredients in many dietary supplements. The idea that free radicals are generally dangerous and must be counteracted is, however, a myth, according to scientists who have conducted a new study of the role that free radicals play in heart physiology.

The researchers are not denying that free radicals can cause damage; they just support the old saying of  “everything in moderation.” What about evolution? There also been stories about this subject as well…

In New Scientist

“The standing dogma of eye evolution is challenged with the discovery of an invertebrate that sees light like vertebrates do, rather than like their more closely related cousins, according to a study published today (March 1) in EvoDevo.”

The story of evolution clings to its favorite behavior when expectations are falsified, it grows in complexity. While confined to the evolutionary framework, rescue tactics are invoked as this explanation implies…Now it’s unclear which photoreceptor originally gave animals sight, and which kind evolved to sense light later.  Or, perhaps an ancestor used both receptors to see, and over the millennia, one variety or the other lost its visual function.”

This explanation only enhances more problems for the story of evolution but one of the rescue tactics which gets invoked quite often is the attempt to call it a victory for evolution. Yes, you got that right, a victory…In another stunning development which challenges evolution, a team of scientists led by George Cody of the Carnegie Institution of Washington discovered organic material in a fossil that is assumed to be 417 million years old.

The organic material is not known to be able to survive that long because in the real world, hungry microbes and other processes are known to break down the material.  A rescue tactic was once again required in the evolutionary framework, so scientists changed their tune on what is common sense with observational data to imagination in order to save the theory, now they claim organic material could not only last that long but could also last up to 500 million years!  Until of course they discover an older fossil with organic material. Evolution certainly does better with the unknown than it does with the known because there are no falsifications with imagination.

Scandals point out the vulnerability of science to human moral failings as well as putting together a falsified evolutionary story. The Climategate scandal caused the likes of Nature, calling for transparency in published research on research.

“If genomics were as politicized as climate science, the authors of studies in which the information trail is missing would probably face catcalls, conspiracy charges and demands for greater transparency and openness.  Instead, many in the field merely shrug their shoulders and insist that is how things are done.”

This story puts those who have much faith in scientists into a bad dream. They follow them through vast mountains of ignorance along with the science reporters who defend Darwinian evolution with religious fervor, who don’t ask the tough questions but go out of their way to go along with whatever is written by evolutionary scientists. The reality of it is, they are sinners in need of God!

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5 thoughts on “Questions Rise About What Scientists Really Know

  1. And who do you think usually uncovers fraud amongst scientists ?

    Yes, scientists !

    Of course scientists are people, and some are bad, some even criminal. But science is well known to clean up its own act (your write that a professor was actually stripped of his title).

    Now let me compare that to what’s happening in the Catholic church after the child abuse cases came to light …

    Well ?

  2. “Several recent stories have appeared which casts doubt on the integrity of the scientific method and in some cases the ability for scientists to solve mysteries about the real world in which we live in. ”

    This story has nothing to do with ability, but with bad people. Bad scientists, in this case.

    And of course scientists do not have all the answers, and usually know very little. And you know what: who are the first ones to actually admit not knowing very much ?

    Yes: scientists.

    No scientist will pretend to know all, know ‘the truth’.

    Again, compare that to religion (none in particular, any religion).

    So who do you think you’re kidding here ?

  3. Why is this news?

    Because it is unusual. Because we expect integrity from scientists. And we are almost always justified in relying on their honesty.

    On the other hand, we expect creationists to lie and mislead. Deviousness is the norm. An honest creationist would indeed be news.

    Here’s one way you can tell. All scientific research papers have long lists of citations to earlier work. Later results depend upon the veracity of their predecessors. If any but a tiny fraction were dishonest in any way, the system would collapse. On the other hand, scan a few creationist papers. They cite scientific papers—treating them as reliable sources—but do they cite other creationist work? Not a chance. Even the creationists do not treat their own efforts as trustworthy.

    And, as Eelco describes, science is self-correcting. Peer-review, while not designed to catch outright fraud, uncovers logical weaknesses, methodological flaws, and skimpy evidence. Publication to peers invites criticism. Replication of experiments and data analysis catch the few dishonest papers. What correction mechanisms does creationism possess? Absolutely none.The Paluxy River dinosaur/human footprint hoax still floats around creationist circles, many decades after it was exposed.

    This may be a good time for creationism to remove the log from its own eye before complaining of the mote in the eye of science.

  4. @Michael,

    This story puts those who have much faith in scientists into a bad dream.

    You mean much like how Creationism puts Christianity and religion in general into a bad dream?

    They follow them through vast mountains of ignorance along with the science reporters who defend Darwinian evolution with religious fervor, who don’t ask the tough questions but go out of their way to go along with whatever is written by evolutionary scientists.

    Another example of how Michael applying a standard on people who disagree with him while not applying it to himself. — Michael, answer me this: When have you ever NEVER uncritically went along with what Creation “Scientists” have put in your head?

    The reality of it is, they are sinners in need of God!

    And?! Many of those “evolutionary scientists” are firm believers in God, and may of them may perhaps enter into the pearly gates ahead of you!

  5. Poor Michael.

    His faith in science is so shaken that he now buys his drugs from herbalists, and goes to an exorcist rather than a doctor when he gets sick. He consults druids for his weather forecasts, and dowsers to find water for his home. His investments are now chosen by reading chicken entrails.

    No, sir. You just can’t trust scientists anymore.

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