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  1. #21
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Yeah the tone and rhetoric is bad @ygolo . I agree. I don't think you have anything to fear though. I don't think there is that much skepticism. People put a TREMENDOUS amount of faith in scientists and doctors and such still.

    But to say that people have no right to question things is suspicious (and slightly offensive if only republicans are singled out as the ones who should never question). I will say that.

    @Nicodemus
    Very interesting and enlightening. Thank you for sharing that.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    It depends on who the peers that are reviewing it are. Someone from your same university or group is different than someone more removed from you yet within the same profession. In accounting we have auditors who are also accountants who review the work you've done if you are a public company. The auditors must be, by law, completely independent and removed from you and your company and the results are published. Is this how it is with scientific peer review?
    Here is the way NIH does it:
    http://grants.nih.gov/grants/peer_review_process.htm

    There are different peer review process for every journal for publication. There are different peer review processes for obtaining funding for research. Science is done internationally. So it would be hard to regulate legally. Though there are export restrictions on certain types of discoveries and technologies.

    Just like there is accounting fraud despite the review process, there is scientific fraud as well. In my experience, there are plenty of errors, but out-right fraud is rare.

    Consumers of science have to be wary of where researchers get funding, and what sort of biases the particular journal may have. Also, just like in accounting, you can check if everything "adds up" if you are knowledgeable enough (and this is the ultimate test).

    Journals that are "Good Old Boy" networks are easy to spot because they publish their own labs results, and you rarely find conflicting theories on the cutting edge.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    Yeah the tone and rhetoric is bad @ygolo . I agree. I don't think you have anything to fear though. I don't think there is that much skepticism. People put a TREMENDOUS amount of faith in scientists and doctors and such still.
    Well. The thing is, this woman is a strategist for the party. She has been on Fox News multiple times, and has gotten a lot of air time. I hope you are right that she isn't main stream.

    Rick Perry's comment that there are a "substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data to get dollars rolling in to their projects," is also troubling. He is a Governor, and a presidential candidate.

    There is nothing wrong with skepticism, as long as it isn't blind or ignorant. I believe thoughtful skepticism is a very good thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    But to say that people have no right to question things is suspicious (and slightly offensive if only republicans are singled out as the ones who should never question). I will say that.
    Like I said, questioning things is a good thing. Impugning a profession is another thing entirely.

    I am suspicious of the motives behind the questioning. I am troubled that this is becoming part of a campaign strategy for some candidates.

    I believe what Nikpour and Perry are trying to do is to appeal to creationists in their constituency, by demonizing a group of people that the creationists find discomforting. It is a strategy used by politicians to good effect, over and over again. The examples range from Hitler demonizing the Jews, to Bush demonizing ex-convicts. Nikpour demonizing scientists could work. But besides getting her candidate elected, she would have fueled a distrust of scientists and science that would not serve the country well.

    There is no Democrat strategist saying that "scientists are scamming people right and left," so I didn't bring it up. It would be troubling if powerful people in that party were saying similar things.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  4. #24
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    When it comes to politics, I don't know what or who to believe.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    When it comes to politics, I don't know what or who to believe.
    Believe the facts, not the interpretations.

  6. #26
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Believe the facts, not the interpretations.
    And make sure the facts you see aren't being cherry-picked...
    intp | type 9w1 sp/sx/so

  7. #27
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    When it comes to politics, I don't know what or who to believe.
    Neither do the politicians themselves.

  8. #28
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Imagine if you were in a profession that relied a lot on government funding for its existence, and if one of the main parties trying to run the government had mainstream people believing that the profession is scamming the people (and providing no evidence for this). Would this upset you?
    Academics in humanities fields have been treated as such by the republican party for a long time ("those left wing demagogues in academia teaching our kids communism! Why do we keep funding these people?")
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  9. #29
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    I wonder how many of the people who call others communists would be able define communism. I suspect a one-digit percentage.

  10. #30
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    It depends on who the peers that are reviewing it are. Someone from your same university or group is different than someone more removed from you yet within the same profession. In accounting we have auditors who are also accountants who review the work you've done if you are a public company. The auditors must be, by law, completely independent and removed from you and your company and the results are published. In other words, you can't have your friends or colleagues review your work. Is this how it is with scientific peer review?
    Generally, it has to be within your field(though a colleague could be considered someone with similar knowledge in that field, but I'll leave what I define as a colleague to myself.) The more people cite you (far and wide) and use your work for theirs, the more credible it is. In fact, I've read peer reviews that have cited others from other universities, states, and countries. That is generally what a peer-review is, at least all the ones I have read (anywhere from Computer Science articles to Art History articles.)

    You do have to have experience in the subject matter. In fact, a Master/Doctoral degree is definitely better than none at all. Otherwise, you will be like the person with no experience in piloting an airplane. People are allowed to agree and disagree, but if you are going to agree/disagree without knowing what you are saying, it is just making you look like a fool (which The Daily Show is doing to that Republican Strategist.)

    There are companies out there that try to trick you by using their own self "credibility" though, but those are definitely not peer reviews.

    All I can say is, that Republican Strategist can speak for herself and her party.

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