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Peer Review Tyranny

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posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 08:09 AM
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originally posted by: hydeman11
Howdy


Howdy.

How’s it goin’?


originally posted by: hydeman11
. . . and a few examples of where the system broke do not show a widespread problem . . .

Oh, yes, there is a widespread problem.

Perhaps you’ve had no exposure to it or no way to know.

Good for you. One less thing to worry about.


originally posted by: hydeman11
(in fact, not seeing any would have me very concerned that such events were being maliciously hidden)


What?

Let me get this straight.

You’re saying you don’t see lots of examples of people being shut out of the system because they can’t get published in peer review journals, so that makes you wonder whether there’s a cover-up?

I’m stopping there because I have lots to do.
edit on 08/07/14 by Mary Rose because: Fix code




posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 08:50 AM
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originally posted by: hydeman11
a reply to: PGTWEED

Howdy,

Would you mind if I weigh in on this discussion?

I personally believe that it is not peer review that makes people distrust the conclusions of amateurs and favor those of the professionals. It is a matter of training, I think. 9.9 times out of ten, I would favor a trained dentist over an amateur. 9.9 times out of ten I want the trained heart surgeon. 9.9 times out of ten, I'll trust that professional (with degree) archeologists have been trained to minimize contamination, follow proper methodology, and make unbiased conclusions (instead of starting with an assumption and trying to prove it). This is where most amateurs fail, simply because they lack the training.

Don't get me wrong, some amateurs have sought the necessary knowledge to produce good conclusions. Some are very capable individuals. Here's an example of a dedicated amateur that even my paleontology professor respects for his work... (Admittedly a biologist with a PhD, but not a paleontologist.)
www.trilobites.info...

See, science isn't something anybody can pick up and do tomorrow. It requires rigorous training and methodology, just like any other advanced technical career. Do people exist outside of science that excel at it? Well, I'd say no, because science is science, but certainly amateurs who are not professionally trained but do follow protocol exist. But how can anyone be sure that any one amateur follows the methods and makes sounds conclusions?

You cannot have scientists who are untrained, as things have advanced greatly since the early days of Newton and Darwin. How many people can operate an X-ray diffractometer without being trained? A scanning electron microscope? How many amateurs can even afford to use such tools?

To preempt an argument that may arise, if you do not trust in the training of scientists (brainwashed numbskulls that we are, right?), then you do not belong on a science forum. It's as simple as that. Science is a great deal methodology, and if you disagree with it, what you discuss is no longer science. The realm of alternative science is one that does not truly exist. There only exists a grey area where unsubstantiated science may one day become established science. (For example willow bark to aspirin...) If claims have been around for some time and have not been adopted into science, there is a good reason for it...

Regards,
Hydeman
In my experience in Biblical Archaeology. It is the Amateurs that are better trained than the Professionals. It is in the Amateurs vs the Professionals conclusions of an event or person's existence that the bias happens. It is the same old jealousies between archaeologists rearing its head. That same jealousy appears in peer review vs non peer review papers.



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 10:36 AM
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a reply to: Mary Rose

Howdy,

I can't complain. I mean, I'm not being understood very well here, but that's probably my fault. I do hope you're doing well.


Indeed, I have had no exposure to the problem of "peer review tyranny," so you call it. In fact, I probably never will. I'm not going to be an academic scientist, so I'll never publish a paper to my name. This is perhaps a unique position, as I am someone in the middle of the two apparent extremes of patriotic scientist who does not believe the system is slightly flawed (however many of people at this extreme exist I do not know, but I would postulate very few, as scientists are taught to be skeptical and know about human error in testing...) and believer in tyranny. I am perhaps some of the most unbiased ears you might find in this position. Sure, I'm part of the system of science, but that is the extent of it, as I have no personal ties to it.

So, if there is a problem with the system, I am willing to listen to the evidence. What you have shown (rather, I think it was actually others who have shown evidence of bad peer review) is that the system is flawed by human error, not that it is run by tyrants. Please provide more evidence or else your position looks rather weak.

And no, the fact that bad peer review is found at all is entirely consistent with my hypothesis of human error and oversight. If tyrants ran the system of peer review, would they not hide their "mistakes" and continue their own agendas? Why would they expose the inaccuracies they have printed? I know the system isn't perfect, and you/others have shown that. But you have not shown tyrants.

You seem fond of the argument that the truth comes out when it can no longer be held back. If this is true, then peer review process holds little power as a tool of tyrants, is that not correct? If knowledge can be gained and found outside of the system, and the system mostly works (which I will assume it does until proven otherwise), then what is your problem with scientists choosing to go through peer review? It obviously isn't a very good "monopoly on knowledge" if there exist alternative routes to things like Nobel Prizes.

Sincere regards,
Hydeman



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 10:49 AM
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a reply to: PGTWEED

Howdy,

I certainly find this difficult to believe, but can you provide some evidence so that I may consider it?

Let me explain myself. "Biblical Archaeology" is rather a strange place... Certainly, it must be limited to 10,000 or so years (the Bible does not take place over great human time), an isolated geographical region (it does not seem to say much about the Incans, for example), and it starts with an assumption.

See, that assumption (that the bible is always a reliable source) is what is known as faulty science. It mangles the methodology of the scientific method by creating a explanation before you get the data. This is my fear when it comes to untrained amateurs (as good as they might be), and it is exactly what peer review might prevent from happening. Improper or flawed methods, if followed consistently, will very precisely give the same (flawed) answers. Precision is not accuracy, though.

In this case, I do believe your chosen example shows little merit if these "biblical archaeologists" start with a biased and unnecessary assumption and break the scientific method. In fact, that demonstrates how peer review is a process that works, if these "biblical archaeologists'" papers are not published because of improper methodology/too many assumptions.

That said, I still await your evidence.

Sincere regards,
Hydeman



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 10:57 AM
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originally posted by: GetHyped
In this thread: a bunch of people who have no idea what peer-review or the scientific process is about and are annoyed that science won't acknowledge their credulously held magical beliefs.


so, why are there massive peer-review retractions lately? (google: peer review scandal)

or lookie here:

retractionwatch

maybe we don't know anything about scientific process, but you obviously ignore the fact that scientists are people and people are easily corrupted...

you don't know anything about people...


edit on 072014811000000am811America/Chicago8 by donhuangenaro because: ...



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 11:05 AM
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a reply to: donhuangenaro

Give me the stats for the number of retractions per number of publications.



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 11:09 AM
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posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 11:14 AM
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a reply to: donhuangenaro

Howdy,

I had no idea that peer review was running so... well. Thanks for the data. Both sources are excellent.


Sincere regards,
Hydeman



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 11:17 AM
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a reply to: donhuangenaro

Retractions prove the system is working. It is showing that someone (a peer) reviewed the paper in question and found flaws in it that don't measure up to the standards of the scientific method. Then when the flaws were found, they were pointed out and the retraction is done, striking that paper from the scientific record.

If those retractions WEREN'T happening, THEN we'd have a problem.



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 11:18 AM
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a reply to: hydeman11

no problem, but be aware:




The data does not account for journals that are not published in the PubMed so there could be many more retractions that have not been accounted for.



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 11:22 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

I agree, but no one can really know for sure how many frauds are there still published...



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 11:24 AM
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a reply to: donhuangenaro

Howdy,

Yeah, I saw that, and it is good that you pointed it out. That said, it is my opinion that medicine is probably one of the most stressful and competitive fields of science, and one where academic results often result in economic results, if you know what I mean.


Thanks again,
Hydeman



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 11:26 AM
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originally posted by: donhuangenaro
a reply to: Krazysh0t

I agree, but no one can really know for sure how many frauds are there still published...


Of course, but isn't that true for anything? Do you EVER really know if what you are reading or hearing is the truth?

At least science has a method to weed out the bad apples. More than I can say for other sources of information like news outlets, religion, or politicians.
edit on 7-8-2014 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 11:36 AM
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a reply to: donhuangenaro


But if we compare the number of retractions to the number of papers published on PubMed the number of papers published has increased dramatically while the number of retractions has remained quite small.


So how exactly does this factor into your "massive peer-review retractions" or "scientists are people and people are easily corrupted" conspiracy?



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 11:37 AM
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a reply to: Mary Rose

Lets play along and assume TPTB control all peer reviews.

At the end of the day you can't argue with scientific facts.

So even if TPTB control the process they (TPTB) must scientifically disprove why your claim doesn't hold water. They must provide cases where your paper doesn't hold true. As the publisher you either have to amend your paper/thought/claim or disprove their point scientifically.



edit on 51831America/ChicagoThu, 07 Aug 2014 11:51:18 -0500000000p3142 by interupt42 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 06:47 PM
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originally posted by: PGTWEED
In my experience in Biblical Archaeology. It is the Amateurs that are better trained than the Professionals. It is in the Amateurs vs the Professionals conclusions of an event or person's existence that the bias happens. It is the same old jealousies between archaeologists rearing its head. That same jealousy appears in peer review vs non peer review papers.


Within the professionals who are archaeologists, also, I think there is a problem.

I heard an anecdote about an archaelogy professor - I don't remember the name or the university - who did research that led her to draw conclusions that were contrary to the mainstream, accepted view. I believe she ended up getting fired.



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 06:57 PM
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originally posted by: interupt42
At the end of the day you can't argue with scientific facts.


Yes, you can.

When something new comes along, there will be an argument about what the facts actually are.


originally posted by: interupt42
So even if TPTB control the process they (TPTB) must scientifically disprove why your claim doesn't hold water.


No, TPTB doesn't scientifically prove anything in the scenario I'm objecting to, as far as I know. They simply refuse to publish because they're protecting the status quo. And when they do this, people are shut out unjustly.



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 09:30 PM
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originally posted by: Mary Rose

originally posted by: PGTWEED
In my experience in Biblical Archaeology. It is the Amateurs that are better trained than the Professionals. It is in the Amateurs vs the Professionals conclusions of an event or person's existence that the bias happens. It is the same old jealousies between archaeologists rearing its head. That same jealousy appears in peer review vs non peer review papers.


Within the professionals who are archaeologists, also, I think there is a problem.

I heard an anecdote about an archaelogy professor - I don't remember the name or the university - who did research that led her to draw conclusions that were contrary to the mainstream, accepted view. I believe she ended up getting fired.


You're referring to Virginia Steen-McIntyre and the Hueyatlaco site in Mexico. I do find it extraordinarily ironic that you would use her as an example of peer review tyranny when her questionable paper was actually published. Basically, Steen-McIntyre was a grad student who was brought in to assist the USGS in dating a very ancient site of early human occupation in the Americas. What got her in trouble wasnt the data, it was her rushing to publish something on the site before the actual field team leader. It's more of a case study in what not to do as a grad student working underneath someone else at their dig site. There have been a few good threads about this particular dig on ATS over the years such as this-
www.abovetopsecret.com...

Steen-McIntyre would likely have had a very differ career trajectory had she not stepped on the toes of her bosses and this did affect her career to some degree but she wasnt a professor or did she lose a teaching position anywhere as a result of her publication.

en.m.wikipedia.org...



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 10:25 PM
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originally posted by: peter vlar
You're referring to Virginia Steen-McIntyre and the Hueyatlaco site in Mexico. I do find it extraordinarily ironic that you would use her as an example of peer review tyranny when her questionable paper was actually published.


It's not ironic because I wasn't suggesting that she couldn't get published.

I was giving her as an additional, similar problem in mainstream science - backlash.

Another example of it would be physics majors trying to get a PhD but having to not talk about certain things, or ask certain questions, because the subject matter is not tolerated - you conform or you don't graduate.



posted on Aug, 7 2014 @ 10:58 PM
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originally posted by: Mary Rose

originally posted by: peter vlar
You're referring to Virginia Steen-McIntyre and the Hueyatlaco site in Mexico. I do find it extraordinarily ironic that you would use her as an example of peer review tyranny when her questionable paper was actually published.


It's not ironic because I wasn't suggesting that she couldn't get published.

I was giving her as an additional, similar problem in mainstream science - backlash.

Another example of it would be physics majors trying to get a PhD but having to not talk about certain things, or ask certain questions, because the subject matter is not tolerated - you conform or you don't graduate.


Can you cite any examples of people who were doctoral candidates in a physics program who were not allowed to pursue their own research? Nobody that's been through a graduate level program is going to agree with that assertion unless they received their graduate degree from an unaccredited institution.

Again, Steen-McIntyre was never fired from a university for this. She went over her bosses head and rushed to publish data, incomplete data at that, in an attempt to further her career with little regard to professional ethics. And BECAUSE she did so, the dating on that site has been heavily questioned ever since and it also resulted in the site being shut down by the Mexican govt. making verification of critical data impossible. She was in a position to ride the waves right into the beach but couldn't be bothered to wait and publish the best data possible. She tried to jump the gun and screwed everyone over because of her selfishness and ego. It has only been recently IIRC that testing of diodes indicate that the site could have been inhabited 80,000 BCE but because of the b.s. In the late 60's it is rather difficult to get access to new materials to corroborate these dates.

No matter how you want to look at it though, she didn't suffer mainstream backlash because of the claims in her paper. It was the way she went about it. If she had followed protocol we might be having a conversation about how the Americas were populated at least twice as long ago as is commonly accepted instead of arguing over why she was a crappy doctoral candidate in the mid 60's



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