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06/22/2010

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Stylo

This reminds me of a study about 5 years ago called Why Most Published Research Findings Are False that said about half of published scientific papers are wrong. From a newscientist article:

"Most published scientific research papers are wrong, according to a new analysis. Assuming that the new paper is itself correct, problems with experimental and statistical methods mean that there is less than a 50% chance that the results of any randomly chosen scientific paper are true."

DocBud

Peer review is not a guarantee of the veracity of research, its role is to establish that research is original, worthy of publication (and therefore put into the public domain for debate and verification) and well presented.

My son is a PhD student and was asked to peer review a conference paper, his diligence established that the authors were guilty of significant plagiarism and the paper was withdrawn.

John Pepple

Thanks for the comments. Ordinarily, science relies on replication of results to test the claims made by a scientist. And with cold fusion, it was quickly discovered that the results couldn't be replicated.

But with global warming, we are dealing with observations made at a particular place and time, so replication of the results is not possible. So, peer review becomes important. This is obviously less convincing than replication, yet I've been told that peer review is the foundation of science. It isn't.

Steve C

@DocBud...I think this is the point of this post. While I believe you have summed up what the label "peer reviewed" SHOULD mean in your three points (original, worthy, well presented) the global warming community has added a fourth point. Peer review makes the article true. "Peer reviewed" has become a badge of honor in the MSM, and on blogs, that is meant to communicate "the ideas contained here are correct as opposed to those over there which clearly must be wrong because they haven't been peer reviewed".

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Experience never misleads; what you are missed by is only your judgement, and this misleads you by anticipating results from experience of a kind that is not produced by your experements. Do you think so?

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And scientists concerned about climate change believe it will cause more drought in many areas in the future.

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