This may be a bit surprising even shocking to some readers, but Nature attacks the dogmatic practice of consensus within the scientific community. In an article written on October 5, 2011. The catchy headline reads, “The voice of science: let’s agree to disagree.” Have they come to their senses? Because over the years creationists and ID proponents have been critical of the practice of consensus dogma within the scientific community saying that it hurts science.
Author of the article, Daniel Sarewitz writes…
“When scientists wish to speak with one voice, they typically do so in a most unscientific way: the consensus report. The idea is to condense the knowledge of many experts into a single point of view that can settle disputes and aid policy-making. But the process of achieving such a consensus often acts against these goals, and can undermine the very authority it seeks to project.”
“Real science depends for its progress on continual challenges to the current state of always-imperfect knowledge.”
When scientific theories in Darwinian evolution are considered dogma, often times it is considered creationism to even question it. When it is found to be falsified it is generally up to consensus on whether or not a rescue mechanism should be invented or move on to another theory of it. Sometimes it has to do with the money involved in the research. Even though his science approach on origins is faulty as he believes in Darwinian evolution, but Daniel Sarewitz is right about challenging the progress of science.
But what about the progress of being a reviewer for science journals? It appears that when one is a rookie you get the most honest review on that particular paper. In an article in Nature the editor tells rookies that they are “they are politically naive enough to tell the truth” because they never receive enough training on how to do it within the closed club of seasoned reviewers. The editor also touches upon issues like bias, conflict of interest and politics that distort objectivity when reviewing a paper.
The bottom line, don’t assume consensus nor peer-review papers as the final authority about science. Scientists can be very intelligent on subjects like math, jargon and their specialized fields but when it comes to the conclusion of any paper, it’s up to the citizen to weigh evidence, evaluate reasoning, and consider influences that led to the conclusion!