Scientific Pride and Prejudice –

Reading the entire paper in pajamas, all day long, another fine alternative to the Super Bowl… If that floats your boat (see previous post).rice portrait Jane Austen

SCIENCE is in crisis, just when we need it most. Two years ago, C. Glenn Begley and Lee M. Ellis reported in Nature that they were able to replicate only six out of 53 “landmark” cancer studies. Scientists now worry that many published scientific results are simply not true. The natural sciences often offer themselves as a model to other disciplines. But this time science might look for help to the humanities, and to literary criticism in particular.

A major root of the crisis is selective use of data. Scientists, eager to make striking new claims, focus only on evidence that supports their preconceptions. Psychologists call this “confirmation bias”: We seek out information that confirms what we already believe. “We each begin probably with a little bias,” as Jane Austen writes in “Persuasion,” “and upon that bias build every circumstance in favor of it.”

Michael Suk-Young Chwe, author of:


via Scientific Pride and Prejudice –

Jane Austen, Game Theorist: Michael Suk-Young Chwe: 9780691155760: Books.

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  1. George Kaplan
    February 2, 2014

    It isn’t exactly surprising. Science is staggeringly important but those people who worship scientists (including those scientists who openly worship *themselves* – Hello, “Dick” Dawkins!) seem not to understand that scientists are simply human beings, and as some human beings are b**st**ds (hahahaha!) and most everyone is flawed they can lie and ignore evidence and just make mistakes (and cover then up) in order to suit themselves while telling themselves they are right. 😉

  2. George Kaplan
    February 2, 2014

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that many people, including scientists, are not to be trusted… Bwahahaha!

  3. February 2, 2014

    Doesn’t surprise me, either. Look at what “scientists” tell us a “healthy diet” is. Hahahaha! They are, unfortunately, just as susceptible to their own bias and big-bucks sponsors as…as…their brethren are. 😉

  4. George Kaplan
    February 2, 2014

    Brethren! Jen, you are one smart cookie! 🙂

  5. February 2, 2014

    Definitely floats my boat, being in pajamas all day long. I was, but I wasn’t reading the paper, all day long. I went out to water the garden.

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