By SimplyLogical
2 years ago

Inexact Science

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Science, particularly in the fields of engineering and medical, has undoubtedly transformed the way we live. We can be in space one day, at the bottom of an ocean the next and can expect to live way beyond three score years and ten due to medical advances in disease prevention and cure.

Climate science has always had an air of hurried knee jerk and not properly researched conclusions about it. From fudged global warming figures, to the UK Government's recommendation that drivers switch to diesel vehicles as they are more environmentally friendly have always raised a few eyebrows, including my own.

I sort of forgive these mistakes in areas of "green" science because if global warming does turn out to be man made and not just part of the natural warming and cooling cycle of the Earth, we have limited time to address the contributing factors in our societies.This, coupled with the fact that green politicians are so busy clinging to the bandwagon that they don't have time to consider the logical argument, mean that some daft decisions are bound to be made.

There is also the issue of funding for climate science projects. All bids for money are based on the predication that the research will investigate causes of global warming and therefore bolster the overwhelming evidence that the ice caps are melting because of mankind's activities. A researcher asking for cold hard cash to feed his family for another year is hardly likely to start on the premise that their research may disprove some long held view or another.

The recent news that the burning of wood pellets shipped all the way from the USA to be used in UK power stations may not be very environmentally friendly as burning local coal simply exacts a "no shit Sherlock" reaction from most. As I said, such things are done in knee jerk fashion with little or no research in mankind's panic to save the planet.

But, a far more disturbing piece of news which is bubbling away in the scientific community. After a survey of scientists who were asked to comment on reproducibility in a survey, it appears that less than 30% of published research is able to be reliably replicated. This is a fundamental part of any research whereby scientific peers try to replicate the results published in the original research papers, so such a low reproducibility suggests that something is going on far outside the occasional fluke success.

This has been tested by the University of Virginia's Reproducibility Project which attempted to repeat five cancer studies. More than 66% of published findings were unable to be replicated.

The problem appears to be the funding marketplace. In the rush to get sensational headlines, researchers are cutting corners and publishing unchecked and verified results in the free for all to grab cash.

If our scientists are prepared to let standards drop, our reliance on facts becomes degraded. Added to that, if any challenger is shouted down and labelled deniers (as is the case if anyone questions climate science), the lunatics really will have taken over the asylum. The result of that will be that anyone can make up a fact and it will be accepted as true,

And if anyone knows of a company or individual who wants to buy my research into how to travel at light speed for 25 years on a single mug of camel dung, you know where to find me.