The Peer Review Process

Stosis
Posts: 327
Joined: 2008-10-21
User is offlineOffline
The Peer Review Process

The peer review process is used most notably by scientists to weed out any falsehoods that come about by either misrepresenting data (lieing), miscondutction experiments or misinterpreting information. This process is also used by the social sciences, historians and pretty well every other field including the study of literature. Many creationists, when told that if their "science" actually contained any facts then they should write an article, have it peer reviewed and if it is indeed true then next year's school curriculum will contain creation science and evolution will be ousted.

 

I was wondering how others deal with this. Also, for any creationists out there, what type of system do you propose that would have the same effects as peer review without the bias? and no "but God told me" won't cut it.

 

I've never been in a formal or informal debate on this topic but the other day a creationist started blathering on another forum that I go to and I basically told him this: "If the peer review process is so biased against certain ideas then please show me where other ideas, other than those from religious fundamentalism, that journals refuse to publish even though they are "credible" ideas." This shut him up pretty fast.


True believer
Theist
Posts: 21
Joined: 2008-12-07
User is offlineOffline
Isn't this obvious?   In

Isn't this obvious?   In the past one scientist has believed something that the rest of the scientific community disagreed with, and in the past sometimes that one scientist was right and the rest of the scientific community was wrong.  Therefore scientific truth is not determined by the number of scientists that believe something!  If scientific truth is not determined by the number of scientist that believe something then how do we determine it.  Peer review maybe?  What if everyone who reviews something is wrong?  We can't be absolutely sure if what the scientific community believe is really accurate, after all everyone one has biases and sometimes people are simply mistaken.  So whats the solution?  How about this, if even one person believes something, and if that person can in any way call him or her self a scientist then surely there opinion is as good as the rest of the scientific community combined!  Who really need consensus in the scientific community? If we do it this way then surely someone will end up with the truth, and even if they don't do we really need a repressive group of people to tell us what to believe?   We can all just believe whatever we want and call it science!  After all who determines who is or is not a scientist.  I took a science class in high school maybe I'm a scientist!  The problem with science is that they keep trying to repress other peoples opinions because they aren't 'scientific' enough.  Well just get rid of peer review and we can all be scientific all the time, it's just that simple.  


Thomathy
SuperfanBronze Member
Thomathy's picture
Posts: 1861
Joined: 2007-08-20
User is offlineOffline
True believer wrote:Isn't

True believer wrote:

Isn't this obvious?   In the past one scientist has believed something that the rest of the scientific community disagreed with, and in the past sometimes that one scientist was right and the rest of the scientific community was wrong.  Therefore scientific truth is not determined by the number of scientists that believe something!  If scientific truth is not determined by the number of scientist that believe something then how do we determine it.  Peer review maybe?  What if everyone who reviews something is wrong?  We can't be absolutely sure if what the scientific community believe is really accurate, after all everyone one has biases and sometimes people are simply mistaken.  So whats the solution?  How about this, if even one person believes something, and if that person can in any way call him or her self a scientist then surely there opinion is as good as the rest of the scientific community combined!  Who really need consensus in the scientific community? If we do it this way then surely someone will end up with the truth, and even if they don't do we really need a repressive group of people to tell us what to believe?   We can all just believe whatever we want and call it science!  After all who determines who is or is not a scientist.  I took a science class in high school maybe I'm a scientist!  The problem with science is that they keep trying to repress other peoples opinions because they aren't 'scientific' enough.  Well just get rid of peer review and we can all be scientific all the time, it's just that simple.  

POE!

 

Can we do something about this?

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


pablotar
pablotar's picture
Posts: 117
Joined: 2008-10-23
User is offlineOffline
 He's not being sarcastic? 

 He's not being sarcastic? 


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7525
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
Thomathy wrote:POE! Can we

Thomathy wrote:

POE!

 

Can we do something about this?

Laugh?

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


Thomathy
SuperfanBronze Member
Thomathy's picture
Posts: 1861
Joined: 2007-08-20
User is offlineOffline
I suppose that's about it.

Sticking out tongue I suppose that's about it.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


Stosis
Posts: 327
Joined: 2008-10-21
User is offlineOffline
True believer wrote:Isn't

True believer wrote:

Isn't this obvious?   In the past one scientist has believed something that the rest of the scientific community disagreed with, and in the past sometimes that one scientist was right and the rest of the scientific community was wrong.  Therefore scientific truth is not determined by the number of scientists that believe something!  If scientific truth is not determined by the number of scientist that believe something then how do we determine it.  Peer review maybe?  What if everyone who reviews something is wrong?  We can't be absolutely sure if what the scientific community believe is really accurate, after all everyone one has biases and sometimes people are simply mistaken.  So whats the solution?  How about this, if even one person believes something, and if that person can in any way call him or her self a scientist then surely there opinion is as good as the rest of the scientific community combined!  Who really need consensus in the scientific community? If we do it this way then surely someone will end up with the truth, and even if they don't do we really need a repressive group of people to tell us what to believe?   We can all just believe whatever we want and call it science!  After all who determines who is or is not a scientist.  I took a science class in high school maybe I'm a scientist!  The problem with science is that they keep trying to repress other peoples opinions because they aren't 'scientific' enough.  Well just get rid of peer review and we can all be scientific all the time, it's just that simple.  

We need to agree on the basic facts of science because otherwise we would create a scientific elite. Those who more or less agree with each other will form bands against others who believe different things and we wouldn't get anywhere. Also if everyone believed what ever they want and everyone respected what they said was at least somewhat true then we wouldn't have "lower level" (I don't mean to insult anyone, sorry) researchers who carry out more mundane experiments.

 

Also, can I draw your attention to the time of Aristotle. At this time there were no text book and no governing bodies for scientific knowledge. Basically everyone believed what they thought was true. Now although many good theories were proposed at this time and its is hard for me to exaggerate the importance this time period has the scientific knowledge but I must still admit, as we all must, that science progressed much slower back then as it does today.

 

There is also the problem of education under your system. What do we teach new people who want to become scientists? Whatever their teacher wants? I feel very sorry for the people who end up learning the Hovind Theory under this system!

 

As for your question on what is a scientist. This can be somewhat hard to define. You could say that it is anyone who has graduated with a B.S. but this leaves those in the social sciences and those who, despite having no higher education, have still made valuable contributions to science. I like defining scientists as "those who create knowledge" In my opinion this includes both natural and social sciences. Sorry to go off on this tangent, I guess for our purposes a scientist is someone who has written or contributed to a peer reviewed article.

 

Quote:
If we do it this way then surely someone will end up with the truth, and even if they don't do we really need a repressive group of people to tell us what to believe?

I wanted to reply to this sentence specifically and ask that even if someone stumbles upon the truth, what good would it be? There is no way to share it! Also, the reason for science and the peer review process is to stop loony religions from repressing out thought and spamming not only the Internet, television, radio and print with gibberish but also academic texts.

 

 

Sorry for another afterthought but how do we establish quality? How do we stop ourselves from having to read and listen to every one of 6.5 billion + people on this planet and stop ourselves from wasting time listening to all the Kent Hovinds of the world? or do we just give up and go back to mud huts and sustenance farming?

 

 

 

Also one last question for you: Are you joking?


True believer
Theist
Posts: 21
Joined: 2008-12-07
User is offlineOffline
Stosis wrote: True believer

Stosis wrote:

True believer wrote:

Isn't this obvious?   In the past one scientist has believed something that the rest of the scientific community disagreed with, and in the past sometimes that one scientist was right and the rest of the scientific community was wrong.  Therefore scientific truth is not determined by the number of scientists that believe something!  If scientific truth is not determined by the number of scientist that believe something then how do we determine it.  Peer review maybe?  What if everyone who reviews something is wrong?  We can't be absolutely sure if what the scientific community believe is really accurate, after all everyone one has biases and sometimes people are simply mistaken.  So whats the solution?  How about this, if even one person believes something, and if that person can in any way call him or her self a scientist then surely there opinion is as good as the rest of the scientific community combined!  Who really need consensus in the scientific community? If we do it this way then surely someone will end up with the truth, and even if they don't do we really need a repressive group of people to tell us what to believe?   We can all just believe whatever we want and call it science!  After all who determines who is or is not a scientist.  I took a science class in high school maybe I'm a scientist!  The problem with science is that they keep trying to repress other peoples opinions because they aren't 'scientific' enough.  Well just get rid of peer review and we can all be scientific all the time, it's just that simple.  

We need to agree on the basic facts of science because otherwise we would create a scientific elite. Those who more or less agree with each other will form bands against others who believe different things and we wouldn't get anywhere. Also if everyone believed what ever they want and everyone respected what they said was at least somewhat true then we wouldn't have "lower level" (I don't mean to insult anyone, sorry) researchers who carry out more mundane experiments.

That's perfect, we will have the people who agree with each other band together into groups.  Then we can have science wars, were the truth about science is determined threw mortal combat!  As for not have "lower level" researchers any more, the answer is easy.  We  will have an apprenticeship program were more experience scientist will train beginners.  Apprentices will carry out all the "lower level" research.

 

Stosis wrote:

Also, can I draw your attention to the time of Aristotle. At this time there were no text book and no governing bodies for scientific knowledge. Basically everyone believed what they thought was true. Now although many good theories were proposed at this time and its is hard for me to exaggerate the importance this time period has the scientific knowledge but I must still admit, as we all must, that science progressed much slower back then as it does today.

Who says faster is better?  If you move to fast you can never really appreciate the journey.  Tell me, do you really want to miss science wars?

Stosis wrote:

There is also the problem of education under your system. What do we teach new people who want to become scientists? Whatever their teacher wants? I feel very sorry for the people who end up learning the Hovind Theory under this system!

Obviously teachers will teach whatever they feel is correct.  Whoever said students all need to learn the same 'facts'?  Don't we prized diversity in education?  We are stifling our students with all that conformity. 

Stosis wrote:

As for your question on what is a scientist. This can be somewhat hard to define. You could say that it is anyone who has graduated with a B.S. but this leaves those in the social sciences and those who, despite having no higher education, have still made valuable contributions to science. I like defining scientists as "those who create knowledge" In my opinion this includes both natural and social sciences. Sorry to go off on this tangent, I guess for our purposes a scientist is someone who has written or contributed to a peer reviewed article.

If we get rid of peer review anyone can be a scientist!  Why should we discriminate against people just because they haven't contributed anything?

Stosis wrote:

Quote:
If we do it this way then surely someone will end up with the truth, and even if they don't do we really need a repressive group of people to tell us what to believe?

I wanted to reply to this sentence specifically and ask that even if someone stumbles upon the truth, what good would it be? There is no way to share it! Also, the reason for science and the peer review process is to stop loony religions from repressing out thought and spamming not only the Internet, television, radio and print with gibberish but also academic texts.

With science wars we can make people believe in the Truth! Does Truth have any value if we don't have to work for it, sweat for it, bleed for it?   Just think how much more we will appreciate Truth after we've had to fight meaningless wars over it.

Stosis wrote:

Sorry for another afterthought but how do we establish quality? How do we stop ourselves from having to read and listen to every one of 6.5 billion + people on this planet and stop ourselves from wasting time listening to all the Kent Hovinds of the world? or do we just give up and go back to mud huts and sustenance farming?

My answer is two words 'science wars'.

Stosis wrote:

Also one last question for you: Are you joking?

Yes I'm joking. 


Stosis
Posts: 327
Joined: 2008-10-21
User is offlineOffline
Quote: Yes I'm joking. In

Quote:
Yes I'm joking.

In that case sign me up for the front lines ;S

 

OT: Anyone actually have anything to say about this. I was really hoping I could get so good pro-peer review arguments. Or is this attack on sciene just so bad that noone cares?


Answers in Gene...
High Level Donor
Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
Posts: 4214
Joined: 2008-11-11
User is offlineOffline
(No subject)

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


RatDog
atheistSilver Member
Posts: 562
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
In order for science to work

In order for science to work someone must review the work of scientists to make sure that they conform adequately to the use of the scientific method. If this is not done by peers then who will it be done by?  Would it be better to have non scientists review the work of scientists?  I don't think that non scientists wold be able to understand the work of scientists without training.  Maybe we could have a whole new group who's whole job is to do nothing but review the work of scientists.  They could be given special training, perhaps there could be whole new collage degrees for scientific review, maybe there could be some kind of governments controlled certification.    The question is, would non scientist's review be in any way better then peer review?   


RatDog
atheistSilver Member
Posts: 562
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
 Is it time to start the

 Is it time to start the science wars yet?