Dogmatism in Science and Medicine: How Dominant Theories Monopolize

Guest post by Henry H. Bauer

WUWT readers might find some interest in my new book, Dogmatism in Science and Medicine: How Dominant Theories Monopolize Research and Stifle the Search for Truth
http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-6301-5

Here’s a synopsis:

Unwarranted dogmatism has taken over in many fields of science: in Big-Bang cosmology, dinosaur extinction, theory of smell, string theory, Alzheimer’s amyloid theory, specificity and efficacy of psychotropic drugs, cold fusion, second-hand smoke, continental drift . . . The list goes on and on.

Dissenting views are dismissed without further ado, and dissenters’ careers are badly affected. Where public policy is involved — as with human-caused global warming and HIV/AIDS — the excommunication and harassment of dissenters reaches a fever pitch with charges of “denialism” and “denialists”, a deliberate ploy of association with the no-no of Holocaust denying.

The book describes these circumstances. It claims that this is a sea change in scientific activity and in the interaction of science and society in the last half century or so, and points to likely causes of that sea change. The best remedy would seem to be the founding of a Science Court, much discussed several decades ago but never acted on.

Reviews so far have been quite favorable, see http://henryhbauer.homestead.com/Dogmatism-Reviews.html

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115 Responses to Dogmatism in Science and Medicine: How Dominant Theories Monopolize

  1. Edohiguma says:

    This is nothing new, especially not in medicine. Let me present one very famous victim: Ignaz Semmelweis, the man who, even today, is lauded as the savior of the mothers for his fight against childhood fever. He had massive problems and was put under immense pressure by colleagues clinging to established medical opinion. He was mercilessly thrashed and attacked in Austria-Hungary and was eventually even bullied out of work. He died forgotten by almost everyone.

    Only in Germany did they begin to pick up his ideas, which eventually led to better hygienic protocols, which are standard today.

  2. Gamecock says:

    “The best remedy would seem to be the founding of a Science Court, much discussed several decades ago but never acted on.”

    I don’t think so. Science can’t be settled – even by a court – or it isn’t science.

    The best remedy is a competent press.

    Not holding my breath.

  3. temp says:

    Rape is power, DDT the list is long and horribly destroying and distorting society. In the end it is the simple age old problem of the collective telling the collective and the individual what they must feel, think, act like and believe. As long as humans exist the battle between the groups will rages and the collectivists “victories” will always amount to millions slaughtered in the name of the collective… be it direct or indirect means.

  4. Here are quotes from Bauer’s earlier book, Science or Pseudoscience?

    23-24: It is undeniable that some formerly anomalistic or heretical subjects have later become accredited by mainstream science …. Classic cases include meteorites and the mythical kraken, … the platypus, … acupuncture, archaeoastronomy, astronautics …, SETI, ball lightning …, continental drift; the timing of the first human arrival in the Americas; the language represented by the Linear-B script and that on the Phaistos disk.

    75-76: Shibboleths can be viewed as working hypotheses that have become entrenched without adequate evidence or that have remained entrenched for too long. Mainstream science too, not just anomalistics, is replete with shibboleths. The notion that elementary particles must obey “parity” was held firmly but on quite flimsy grounds …. The separate conservation of mass and energy …. All biology agreed that once cells had differentiated they could not again be made to de-differentiate …. In geology the uniformitarian tradition [made] “Bretz’s Spokane flood hypothesis appear as anathema” ….

    33: There exists no comprehensive account of all the premature or false trails that science has taken. By and large the history of science has focused on the successes of science.

  5. Ben says:

    add author name?

  6. More quotes from Bauer’s book, Science or Pseudoscience?:

    50: even some purely material phenomena are indubitably real despite our inability to explain them. Cosmic rays are generated by a phenomenon whose energy is of a magnitude that baffles our ability to conceive of a mechanism. The homing instincts and communicating ability of insects are unquestioned, while our explanations for them are tentative at best. The ice ages did occur, but we don’t understand how or why they came about. And so on.

    In the past, some of the most excellent arguments proved to be false, as to why something just could not be so. [Listed are meteorites, drifting continents, and charged ions in water.] These all seem fine arguments. It’s just that they were incorrect, as in many other cases of resistance by mainstream science to the startlingly new. …

    49: It seems natural to reject reports of some happening when there’s no plausible conceivable mechanism by which it could occur…. But … are there not many things that we accept to happen even though we don’t understand how they do, such as psychosomatic illness and the placebo effect?

    The implacable demand for “mechanism” reveals a strict materialism. Those who insist on it are not really relying on science …

    195: In medicine as in technology in general, solid experience is more to the point than contemporary mainstream theories. After all, hypnosis is a preferred conventional treatment to remove warts without the benefit of a good theory to explain that efficacy.

    I think the anger at “science” is really anger at modern science’s bureaucratic overlay and at its arrogance in thinking that its peer review process provides it with a self-correcting mechanism and that its “democratic” funding process at the NSF is a good guardian against science getting off the rails. A few simple reforms could fix these problems. Henry Bauer’s book Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method, available here, http://www.amazon.com/Scientific-Literacy-Myth-Method/dp/0252064364/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1263190613&sr=1-4 , suggests some solutions, and I’ve suggested a few others in some of my comments. Here are extracts from one of Bauer’s papers (and a link to its full text):
    =========

    Science in the 21st Century: Knowledge Monopolies and Research Cartels

    By HENRY H. BAUER
    Professor Emeritus of Chemistry & Science Studies
    Dean Emeritus of Arts & Sciences
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

    Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 643–660, 2004

    http://henryhbauer.homestead.com/21stCenturyScience.pdf

    [Extracts:]

    Supposedly authoritative information about the most salient science-related matters has become dangerously misleading because of the power of bureaucracies that co-opt or control science.

    Science as an Institution

    Dysfunction and obsolescence begin to set in, unobtrusively but insidiously, from the very moment that an institution achieves pre-eminence. The leading illustration of this Parkinson’s Law (Parkinson, 1958) was the (British) Royal Navy. Having come to rule the seas, the Navy slowly succumbed to bureaucratic bloat. The ratio of administrators to operators rose inexorably, and the Navy’s purpose, defense of the realm, became subordinate to the bureaucracy’s aim of serving itself. The changes came so gradually that it was decades before their effect became obvious.

    Science attained hegemony in Western culture toward the end of the 19th century (Barzun, 2000: 606–607; Knight, 1986). This very success immediately sowed seeds of dysfunction: it spawned scientism, the delusive belief that science and only science could find proper answers to any and all questions that human beings might ponder. Other dysfunctions arrived later: funding through bureaucracies, commercialization, conflicts of interest. But the changes came so gradually that it was the latter stages of the 20th century before it became undeniable that things had gone seriously amiss.

    It remains to be appreciated that 21st-century science is a different kind of thing than the ‘‘modern science’’ of the 17th through 20th centuries; there has been a ‘‘radical, irreversible, structural’’ ‘‘world-wide transformation in the way that science is organized and performed’’ (Ziman, 1994). Around 1950, Derek Price (1963/1986) discovered that modern science had grown exponentially, and he predicted that the character of science would change during the latter part of the 20th century as further such growth became impossible. One aspect of that change is that the scientific ethos no longer corresponds to the traditional ‘‘Mertonian’’ norms of disinterested skepticism and public sharing; it has become subordinate to corporate values. Mertonian norms made science reliable; the new ones described by Ziman (1994) do not.

    Symptoms

    One symptom of change, identifiable perhaps only in hindsight, was science’s failure, from about the middle of the 20th century on, to satisfy public curiosity about mysterious phenomena that arouse wide interest: psychic phenomena, UFOs, Loch Ness Monsters, Bigfoot. By contrast, a century earlier, prominent scientists had not hesitated to look into such mysteries as mediumship, which had aroused great public interest.

    My claim here is not that UFOs or mediumship are phenomena whose substance belongs in the corpus of science; I am merely suggesting that when the public wants to know ‘‘What’s going on when people report UFOs?’’, the public deserves an informed response. It used to be taken for granted that the purpose of science was to seek the truth about all aspects of the natural world. That traditional purpose had been served by the Mertonian norms: Science disinterestedly and with appropriate skepticism coupled with originality seeks universally valid knowledge as a public good.

    These norms imply that science is done by independent, self-motivated individuals. However, from about the middle of the 20th century and in certain situations, some mainstream organizations of science were behaving not as voluntary associations of independent individuals but as bureaucracies. Popular dissatisfaction with some of the consequences stimulated ‘‘New Age’’ movements. ….

    A more widely noticed symptom was the marked increase in fraud and cheating by scientists. In 1981, the U. S. Congress held hearings prompted by public disclosure of scientific misconduct at 4 prominent research institutions. Then, science journalists Broad and Wade (1982) published their sweeping indictment, Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science. It has become almost routine to read in the NIH Guide of researchers who admitted to fraud and were then barred from certain activities for some specified number of years. In 1989, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) established an Office of Scientific Integrity. So prevalent was dishonesty that the new academic specialty of ‘‘research ethics’’ came into being. Professional scientific organizations drafted or revised codes of ethics. Various groups, including government agencies, attempted to make prescriptive for researchers what had traditionally been taken for granted, namely, something like the Mertonian norms.

    This epidemic of cheating in the latter part of the 20th century meant, clearly enough, that an increasing number of scientists were seeking to serve their personal interests instead of the public good of universal knowledge.
    ………………………..

    Throughout the history of modern science, the chief safeguard of reliability was communal critiquing (Ziman, 2000). Science begins as hunches. Those that work out become pieces of frontier science. If competent peers think it worthy of attention, an item gets published in the primary research literature. If other researchers find it useful and accurate, eventually the knowledge gets into review articles and monographs and finally into textbooks. The history of science demonstrates that, sooner or later, most frontier science turns out to need modifying or to have been misleading or even entirely wrong. Science employs a knowledge filter that slowly separates the wheat from the chaff (Bauer, 1992: chapter 3; see Figure 1).

    This filter works in proportion to the honesty and disinterestedness of peer reviewers and researchers. In the early days of modern science, before knowledge became highly specialized and compartmentalized, knowledge-seekers could effectively critique one another’s claims across the board. Later and for a time, there were enough people working independently on a given topic that competent, disinterested critiques could often be obtained. Since about the middle of the 20th century, however, the costs of research and the need for teams of cooperating specialists have made it increasingly difficult to find reviewers who are both directly knowledgeable and also disinterested; truly informed people are effectively either colleagues or competitors. Correspondingly, reports from the big science bureaucracies do not have the benefit of independent review before being issued.
    …………………..

    Causes

    Price (1963/1986) saw the exploding costs of research after WWII as a likely mechanism for bringing to an end the era of exponentially growing science. The mentioned symptoms may indeed be traced to the escalating costs of research and the continuing expansion of the number of would-be researchers without a proportionate increase in available funds. The stakes became very high. Researchers had to compete more and more vigorously, which tended to mean more unscrupulously. The temptation became greater to accept and solicit funds and patrons while ignoring tangible or moral attached strings.
    ……………..

    Unrealistic expectations coupled with misunderstanding of how science works led to the unstated presumption that good science could be expanded and accelerated by recruiting more scientists. Instead, of course, the massive infusion of government funds since WWII had inevitably deleterious consequences. More researchers translate into less excellence and more mediocrity. Journeymen peer-reviewers tend to stifle rather than encourage creativity and genuine innovation. Centralized funding and centralized decision-making make science more bureaucratic and less an activity of independent, self-motivated truth-seekers. Science attracts careerists instead of curiosity-driven idealists. Universities and individuals are encouraged to view scientific research as a cash cow to bring in money as ‘‘indirect costs’’ for all sorts of purposes, instead of seeking needed funds for doing good science. The measure of scientific achievement becomes the amount of ‘‘research support’’ brought in, not the production of useful knowledge.
    ………………….

    Knowledge Monopolies and Research Cartels

    Skepticism toward research claims is absolutely necessary to safeguard reliability. In corporate settings, where results are expected to meet corporate goals, criticism may be brushed off as disloyalty, and skepticism is thereby suppressed. As Ziman (1994) pointed out, the Mertonian norms of ‘‘academic’’ science have been replaced by norms suited to a proprietary, patent- and profit-seeking environment in which researchers feel answerable not to a universally valid standard of trustworthy knowledge but to local managers. A similar effect, the suppression of skepticism, results from the funding of science and the dissemination of results by or through non-profit bureaucracies such as the NIH or agencies of the United Nations.

    While the changes in the circumstances of scientific activity were quite gradual for 2 or 3 centuries, they have now cumulated into a change in kind. Corporate science, Big Science, is a different kind of thing than academic science, and society needs to deal with it differently. Large institutional bureaucracies now dominate the public face of science. Long-standing patrons—private foundations like Rockefeller and Ford, charitable organizations like the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society—have been joined and dwarfed by government bureaucracies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the NIH, and the National Science Foundation, which, in turn, are being overshadowed by international bodies like the World Bank and various agencies of the United Nations—the World Health Organization, the Food and Agricultural Organization, UNAIDS, and more. Statements, press releases, and formal reports from these bodies often purport to convey scientific information, but in reality these releases are best viewed as propaganda designed to serve the corporate interests of the bureaucracies that issue them.
    …………………….

    The upshot is that policy makers and the public generally do not realize that there is doubt about, indeed evidence against, some theories almost universally viewed as true, about issues of enormous public import: global warming; healthy diet, heart-disease risk-factors, and appropriate medication; HIV/AIDS; gene therapy; stem cells; and more.

    ‘‘Everyone knows’’ that promiscuous burning of fossil fuels is warming up global climates. Everyone does not know that competent experts dispute this and that official predictions are based on tentative data fed into computer models whose validity could be known only many decades hence (Crichton, 2003).
    ……………………….

    What ‘‘everyone knows’’ about the science related to major public issues, then, often fails to reflect the actual state of scientific knowledge. In effect, there exist knowledge monopolies composed of international and national bureaucracies. Since those same organizations play a large role in the funding of research as well as in the promulgation of findings, these monopolies are at the same time research cartels. Minority views are not published in widely read periodicals, and unorthodox work is not supported by the main funding organizations. Instead of disinterested peer review, mainstream insiders insist on their point of view in order to perpetuate their prestige and privileged positions. That is the case even on so academic a matter as the Big-Bang theory of the universe’s origin.
    ……………………….

    It is not that knowledge monopolies are able to exercise absolute censorship. Contrary views are expressed, but one must know where to look for them; so one must already have some reason to make the effort. That constitutes a vicious circle. Moreover, the contrarian view will often seem a priori unreliable or politically partisan, as already noted. Altogether, people exposed chiefly to mainstream media will likely never suspect—will have no reason to suspect—that there could exist a credible case different from the officially accepted one.

    The conventional wisdom about these matters is continually reinforced by publicly broadcast snippets that underscore the official dogma. What other reason might there be to publicize, for example, the guesstimate that global warming will cause an increase in asthma attacks (Daily Telegraph, 2004)? This is just another ‘‘fact’’ to convince us that we must curb the use of coal, gas, and oil.
    …………………………..

    Reform?

    The ills of contemporary science—commercialization, fraud, untrustworthy public information—are plausibly symptoms of the crisis, foreseen by Derek Price (1963/1986), as the era of exponentially growing modern science comes to an end. Science in the 21st century will be a different animal from the so-called ‘‘modern science’’ of the 17th to 20th centuries. The question is not whether to reform the science we knew, but whether society can arrange the corporate, commercialized science of the future so that it can continue to expand the range of trustworthy knowledge. Ziman (1994: 276) points out that any research organization requires ‘‘generous measures’’ of

    _ room for personal initiative and creativity;
    _ time for ideas to grow to maturity;
    _ openness to debate and criticism;
    _ hospitality toward novelty;
    _ respect for specialized expertise.

    These describe a free intellectual market in which independent thinkers interact, and there may be a viable analogy with economic life. Economic free markets are supposed to be efficient and socially useful because the mutually competitive ventures of independent entrepreneurs are self-corrected by an ‘‘invisible hand’’ that regulates supply to demand; competition needs to be protected against monopolies that exploit rather than serve society. So, too, the scientific free market in which peer review acts as an invisible hand (Harnad, 2000) needs to be protected from knowledge monopolies and research cartels. Anti-trust actions are called for.

    Where public funds are concerned, legislation might help. When government agencies support research or development ventures, they might be required to allocate, say, 10% of the total to competent people of past achievement who hold contrarian views.
    ………………….

    It should also be legislated that scientific advisory panels and grant-reviewing arrangements include representatives of views that differ from the mainstream.
    ……………………….

    Where legislation is being considered about public policy that involves scientific issues, a Science Court might be established to arbitrate between mainstream and variant views, something discussed in the 1960s but never acted upon.

    Ombudsman offices might be established by journals, consortia of journals, private foundations, and government agencies to investigate charges of misleading claims, unwarranted publication, unsound interpretation, and the like. The existence of such offices could also provide assistance and protection for whistle-blowers.

    Sorely needed is vigorously investigative science journalism, so that propaganda from the knowledge bureaucracies is not automatically passed on. To make this possible, the media need to know about and have access to the whole spectrum of scientific opinion on the given issue. The suggestions made above would all provide a measure of help along that line. A constant dilemma for reporters is that they need access to sources, and if they publish material that casts doubt on the official view, they risk losing access to official sources.

  7. Anthony H. says:

    You need to add a “From Henry Bauer” at the top of your post.

  8. But, the academies of science didn’t have that ambition? The peer review process and all the rest aren’t there to precisely avoid these drifts? Another bureaucratic instance won’t change anything, one cannot select scientists on moral criteria.

  9. Scott Finegan says:

    Note the author of the book is…. “Henry H. Bauer “

  10. HaroldW says:

    Needs proper by-line; this article written by Henry H. Bauer.

  11. Bob Kutz says:

    Wow . . . I had no idea this was happening in BBT Cosmology or string theory . . .

    Now I have a lot of reading to do. Beginning with your book.

    Sincerely; thanks.

  12. pat says:

    and the CAGW dogma is unravelling by the day. check out the pics:

    4 Nov: UK Mirror: It is only snow-vember! Blizzards and flash floods usher in winter
    The whiteout was followed by torrential rain, flooding and 50mph winds sweeping across the country
    Blizzards blanketed parts of Britain in six inches of snow yesterday to usher in winter.
    Families in the West Country were stunned by the unexpected snowfall which also hit the North.
    ***Councils were caught on the hop because the storms were not forecast…

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/six-inches-of-snow-as-blizzards-hit-1417300

    Flood warnings issued after first snowfall of winter hits parts of UK

    http://www.metro.co.uk/news/916917-flood-warnings-issued-after-first-snowfall-of-winter-hits-parts-of-uk

  13. Bob Johnston says:

    I follow nutritional science and how it plays into health quite closely and I can assure you that the field is as loaded with bad science as global warming. Everything you “know” about what to eat for heart health and the prevention of other chronic diseases like cancer and dementia is most likely wrong.

    Pick up a copy of Gary Taubes’ “Why We Get Fat” or “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis and you’ll begin to understand.

  14. ferd berple says:

    In geology the uniformitarian tradition [made] “Bretz’s Spokane flood hypothesis appear as anathema” ….
    ====
    from wikipedia (my bible)
    Another geologist at the meeting, J.T. Pardee, had worked with Bretz and had evidence of an ancient glacial lake that lent credence to Bretz’s theories. Pardee, however, lacked the academic freedom of Bretz (he worked for the US Geological Survey) and did not enter the fray.
    ====
    Here we see where an idea is held back because the researcher that has supporting evidence works for the government. In the end it was almost 50 years later before Bretz was recognized as correct.

    Is it possible we are seeing the same situation today in climate research, where evidence for new ideas is being held back by government institutions?

  15. drjohngalan says:

    I was fascinated to see “cold fusion” quoted as one of the items on the list here. I had the privilege to have been a student of Martin Fleischmann in the late ’60’s and know that he was neither a charlatan nor a procurer of “pathological science”.

    The fact that his observations could not be explained by the current theories of nuclear physics – something he openly admitted – was met by a barrage of criticism from physicists who simply could not stomach the fact that an electro-chemist (albeit an FRS and a world class scientist) could make an observation that seemed to fly in the face in of established theory. Now that “excess heat” has been observed in many reputable laboratories around the world, this new branch of science still has not broken through the media-created frenzy of “pathological” or “junk” science trotted out since in 1989, and still being repeated today (very recently in Scientific American).

    I am not a believer in conspiracy theories, but this area of research is too important to be left chronically under-funded. It may come to nothing, but it is surely worth at least as much funding as the as yet unsuccessful hot fusion approach. However, I guess the consequence of developing a viable energy source from this technology is far too damaging to established big business.

    “Excess Heat” by Charles Beaudette (published 10 years ago) is well worth reading.

  16. ferd berple says:

    pat says:
    November 5, 2012 at 7:30 am
    Flood warnings issued after first snowfall of winter hits parts of UK

    http://www.metro.co.uk/news/916917-flood-warnings-issued-after-first-snowfall-of-winter-hits-parts-of-uk

    ============
    Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past
    By Charles Onians Monday 20 March 2000
    According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.
    “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

  17. michael hart says:

    I agree with Gamecock, Science isn’t decided in court.

    Making publicly funded scientific results widely available for free is a good starting point for weeding out the rubbish. At some point, more competent scientists will want to examine poor science, so it can be found wanting. The bulk of the MSM is unlikely to do it before sufficient scientists do it for themselves.

  18. P.G. Sharrow says:

    A Science Court would not work as it would be captured by the “powers that be” and therefore no improvement over the present system. It may actually make things worse. The Internet/blogisphere Is the real solution. pg

  19. ferd berple says:

    The measure of scientific achievement becomes the amount of ‘‘research support’’ brought in, not the production of useful knowledge.
    ==============
    Penn State? What works for football works for science. If you are bringing lots of $$$, no one is going to rock the boat and ask questions.

  20. Ted Clayton says:

    Very quickly here, since I must be off to my no-denying it gainful employment, let me say, Mr. Watts, that from the synopsis you do appear to be onto something with this theme!

    Congratualations & best wishes on the book.

  21. DirkH says:

    Bob Kutz says:
    November 5, 2012 at 7:19 am
    “Wow . . . I had no idea this was happening in BBT Cosmology or string theory . . .”

    But of course. Zwicky invented Dark Matter in the 50ies to explain the stable rotation of the galaxies and they’ve been looking for it ever since. But everybody in mainstream science accepts its existence as a fact.

  22. Brad says:

    My CV includes such as U of Chicago and MIT, and a couple graduate degrees. This is absolutely true and is the reason I left science.

  23. Hatred and prosecution of dissenters is a universal tendency observed at all times and in all societies; it may take more or less violent shapes, but it will never go away, and this problem surely won’t be solved with the appointment of courts, ombudsmen or tsars. One can see how this deplorable trait was favoured in human evolution, which to a great extent must have been shaped by warfare – social cohesion and uniformity are more conducive to effective fighting than unrestrained dissent and discussion.

  24. Mr Lynn says:

    “WUWT readers might find some interest in my new book. . .”

    Gosh, Anthony found time to write a book in addition to everything else he does? Oh wait—That isn’t Anthony writing; it’s someone named Henry H. Bauer!

    /Mr Lynn

  25. red432 says:

    When continued career success and funding depend on the confirmation and reinforcement of a given hypothesis, that hypothesis is quite likely to be confirmed. This is why the CIA failed to anticipate the fall of the Soviet Union.

  26. D Böehm says:

    I have to agree that a government ‘Science Court’ would be promptly co-opted by activists, as has happend with just about every professional and governmental organization.

    Look what is happening right now with the EPA:

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/november-surprise-epa-planning-major-post-election-anti-coal-regulation/article/2512538#.UJfbiY5q4UV

  27. davidmhoffer says:

    The best remedy would seem to be the founding of a Science Court, much discussed several decades ago but never acted on.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    That would be completely daft. Whoever controlled the court would control the science. The notion that such a thing could be set up without itself being corrupted at some point is…. daft.

  28. Max Hugoson says:

    It will be an “interesting intellectual challenge” for people of broad minds to look at this..

    http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/OrianiRAenergeticc.pdf

    Please note: 250,000 * 4.5 MeV > single particle energy at CERN.

    But, of course Dr. Oriani (350 + publications in Electrochemistry, distinguished career, virtually “concert pianist” keyboard artist..) is just a QUACK now, he’s violated the DOGMA!

  29. Mr Lynn says:

    Bob Kutz says:
    November 5, 2012 at 7:19 am
    Wow . . . I had no idea this was happening in BBT Cosmology or string theory . . .

    See Halton Arp, Seeing Red: Redshifts, Cosmology and Academic Science (1997), available here: http://www.amazon.com/Seeing-Red-Redshifts-Cosmology-Academic/dp/0968368905/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    Prof. Arp uses observational evidence to argue that the redshift of quasars and other objects is not caused by recessional velocity, but is intrinsic. The book contains ample photographic evidence of high-redshift objects linked to others with low redshifts. Prof. Arp suggests that quasars are not usually far-flung objects, but ejecta of closer galaxies, and may in fact be young galaxies themselves.

    If he is right, then the assumption of an expanding Universe, which underlies the theory of the Big Bang, is wrong, and so is the BB. But this distinguished scholar has been disgracefully blacklisted by the academic astronomical establishment, his papers and views declared unwelcome in journals and at conferences.

    There are none so intolerant, and defensive, as scientists who have their egos invested in their theories, to the point where they become unchallengeable dogma.

    /Mr Lynn

  30. Follow the Money says:

    Many of the problems being experienced in Climate Science are also being experienced in the fields of weight loss and nutrition. Unfortunatily, the perversion of th study of nutrition started in the early 60’s. Because of this the world is now experiencing the epidemic of obesity. Thank goodness for the web. “Good Calorie, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes explains the perversion of the science of weight loss and nutrition.

  31. Leo Morgan says:

    David M. Hoffer has already said it perfectly.

  32. JJ says:

    Science Court?

    Contradiction in terms.

  33. pat says:

    Science Court? You mean someplace the delusional, the atrophied, and the vested can exercise real power?

  34. Chris R. says:

    To Tibor Skardnelli:

    You wrote: “But, the academies of science didn’t have that ambition? The peer review process and all the rest aren’t there to precisely avoid these drifts?”

    The process of peer review can become corrupted. Search on this site for valuable critiques of the current peer review process (e.g. the attitudes revealed in the first tranche of Climategate e-mails). Another outstanding critique of the peer review process was authored by the late Thomas Gold–an astrophysicist who had the annoying habit of stepping outside of field, making a seemingly outrageous claim–and being proven right. See:

    http://www.jpands.org/vol8no3/gold.pdf

  35. Edim says:

    Dogma and suppression in science (all fields, paradigms don’t give up easily) is a major problem. The public is not aware of this. It’s rotten to the core.

  36. Billy Liar says:

    Virtually any system can be manipulated. Look at the social sciences; they cite each other to a ridiculous extent. If there are scores of citations in a paper you know it is to keep the money flowing from government to the trough/gravy train. eg Lewandowsky paper – Misinformation and its Correction: Continued Influence and Successful Debiasing

    http://www.cogsciwa.com/

    22 pages of references; he may have left out a few of the worlds social scientists.

  37. Johanus says:

    In matters closely related to atmospheric physics, Ludwig Boltzmann had a really tough time selling his theory of statistical thermodynamics in the latter 19th century because it requires a belief in the existence of atoms and molecules:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Boltzmann#Philosophy

    “Boltzmann’s kinetic theory of gases seemed to presuppose the reality of atoms and molecules, but almost all German philosophers and many scientists like Ernst Mach and the physical chemist Wilhelm Ostwald disbelieved their existence.”

    Yes, that’s the same Mach whose name is linked to the supersonic ‘Mach index’. Mach and many other prominent scientists of the day believed that matter was continuous. Why else would God have created the Real Numbers? (Curmudgeon Kronecker knew that God only created the Integers, the rest was the work of Man.)

    It wasn’t until J.J. Thompson finally proved the existence of electrons in 1897 (for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1906) that these “smooth matter” believers finally had to gave up and accept the atomic theory of matter.

    So the “take-away” here is scientific “progress” is often one step backwards, two steps forward.

  38. Gary Pearse says:

    Roger Knights says:
    November 5, 2012 at 6:51 am
    More quotes from Bauer’s book, Science or Pseudoscience?:

    Roger, you spend too much time in polite company. Fight with every fibre the establishment of a ” Science Court” or other regulatory bureaucracy – that would end up shutting out the last trickle of dissenting science. I don’t believe you to be a naive from all I have read of you. I suspect the suggestion comes out of frustration in finding a solution. A start would be to set up a disciplinary body as they have for engineers that disciplines unacceptable practices, inadequate skills, etc.. Engineers have to adhere to a strong code of ethics and can be barred from their profession if a violation is serious enough. Remedies for lesser infractions include suspensions from practice, retraining requirements, remedial courses, study of ethics, etc. Cooking up data using invalid statistical techniques would certainly be considered a serious breach as would intimidation of journal editors who publish sceptical papers. Perhaps scientists should be demoted – have to redo their PhD’s, work as technicians for 5 years and sit an examination to test their capability with the tools they need to do the kind of research they do. High committees and courts definitely would be a wrong step. It is more or less what we have now essentially – lets not give it a scepter.

  39. Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:

    Its that old “body count” mentality from Vietnam, just make the numbers look big and everyone assumes progress is being made.

    They say if it cannot be quantified it cannot be managed or scored.
    What they forget to say is if it can be quantified and scored someone will figure out a way to cook the books.

    Larry

  40. highflight56433 says:

    Welcome to some enlightenment. The greed for power is in everything tied to gold. Misinformation and propaganda are layered in science to protect those who hold the oil for the lamp.

  41. pat says:

    I suppose everyone here is generally aware that cancer research in this country had been in a virtual stall for two decades because the government would only participate in research that conformed to a model of its own devising. One that was an obvious dead end when it came to effective treatments. In fact the last wave of truly effective treatments have come from fields afar, such as the HVP/Cervical Cancer link.

  42. David Bailey says:

    I left science many years ago when, as a post doc, the head of department refused to fix two crucial problems with the equipment until his students had finished collecting data for their PhDs! He didn’t really question that the work needed doing.

    Back then, in 1975, I don’t think things were as bad as they have become now.

    Part of the problem, is, I think, that science has produced several towers composed of layers of theory, together with experimental data that depends of the theories. Think, for example, of the amount of cosmological research that would become worthless if it became accepted that a significant number of red shifts don’t represent the distance of the objects!

    People also throw around the word ‘proof’ far too much in science. The concept of proof is really only applicable to maths, and the idea that (say) the discovery of thermal radiation at 3 deg K ‘proved the big bang theory, seems quite absurd. Couldn’t the radiation have had other causes?

    However, I would have one word of caution to Anthony. I’d be cautious about pursuing the analogies with the other issues discussed in Henry Bauer’s book – not because they may not be valid, but because warmists will try to smear you by association. Likewise, I’d say that someone running a website devoted to cold fusion (say), would be well advised to avoid the climategate controversy.

  43. _Jim says:

    drjohngalan says November 5, 2012 at 7:43 am

    I was fascinated to see “cold fusion” quoted as …

    I am not a believer in conspiracy theories, but this area of research is too important to be left chronically under-funded. It may come to nothing, but it is surely worth at least as much funding as the as …

    At the very least, improved calorimetry (the science of measuring the heat of ____ reactions or physical changes) techniques, methods and equipment would result …

    .

  44. _Jim says:

    Oops, mods/Anthony, one in the spam filt b/c I forgot to trim a verbotten word in quoted text … TIA _Jim

  45. Gail Combs says:

    P.G. Sharrow says:
    November 5, 2012 at 7:50 am

    A Science Court would not work as it would be captured by the “powers that be” and therefore no improvement over the present system. It may actually make things worse. The Internet/blogisphere Is the real solution. pg
    __________________________________________
    I agree. If you want to know the ‘truth’ or the closest thing we have today to the ‘truth’ you best bet is to get on the internet and read all the conflicting information. With health and diet I can try a ‘new’ idea and monitor the results on my own body. You can easily use a weight scale, blood pressure cuff and blood glucose meter at home to take out some of the subjectiveness. You can also get blood work done by a doctor before and after when you think you have hit on the correct diet for your body type.

    As Bob Johnston said with the “wheat belly” high blood pressure and “pre-diabetes” in much of the American population, it is well worth putting a bit of effort into eating the best diet for your health. (I think of bread as an “edible napkin” at best and a slow poison at worst.)

    Too bad other science is not as easily tested by the layman.

  46. Duster says:

    Bob Kutz says:
    November 5, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Wow . . . I had no idea this was happening in BBT Cosmology or string theory . . .

    Now I have a lot of reading to do. Beginning with your book.

    Sincerely; thanks.

    Bob, the dominance of the Standard Model in cosmology is potentially far more egregious than “the team” is in climatology from a strictly scientific and mathematical point of view. The battles over fundamental physics are just as serious and potentially more important to us scientifically and technologically. Among other matters there is the red shift and Hubble’s Constant. Like the capacity of CO2 to absorb LIR, there is little controversy regarding the correlation of red shift to distance. But, there are also anomalous objects, particularly pairings of active galaxies with moderate red shifts and very high red shift objects. Imaging seems to show connections of strings of matter (gas and dust) tying the objects together. Halton Arp first noticed this. His catalog of unusual – “peculiar” I believe is the word he used – galaxies is a standard reference in astronomy, but Arp’s publicly expressed doubts about the nature and cause of the red shift have lead to his being cut off from funding and access to instrument time in the US, There are other approaches as well. One shows that there seems to be a very close relationship of the red shift and the rest mass of the electron. Sir Fred Hoyle demonstrated in the only unpublished keynote address to the AAS that the mathematics of relativity can be employed show that red shift should correlate inversely with the age of matter, which would be quite odd. There are tremendous implications if a new steady state cosmology were to emerge. And that is merely one tiny corner of one discipline.

  47. Nick in vancouver says:

    Ah yes a science court, with the press as watch dog – thats what got us to this political/economic disaster that is AGW. When you have state sponsored science and state regulated markets you get what you are taxed for. Please see the EUs’ “energy” Commissioners’ latest promise to force the UK to double the UKs “renewable” energy production. AGW is a top-down politically driven perversion of science. We already have self-appointed judges of the science. Before assuming the position of dictator (unelected), the EU Commissioner and his 2 assistants were lawyers.

  48. eworrall1 says:

    A science court would surely be as much a victim of prevailing prejudice as any other “official” science body.

  49. Alan A. says:

    It looked promising until I read the “Science Court” bit, which I find inconsistent with the message the author (seemingly) wants to convey.

  50. TRM says:

    Today you have doctors like Dr Dzugan treating high cholesterol as a symptom of low hormone levels with almost 100% success rate and yet you have virtually every doctor out there prescribing statins to treat the symptom. I think he will eventually win a Nobel Prize like Dr. Barry Marshall.

    If you want to see just how bad the “scientific” dogma in medicine is just try to get a doctor or health nurse to discuss the seasonal influenza vaccine shortcomings as described in the work of Dr. Lisa Jackson and the reviews of the doctors and researchers at cochrane.org

    http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/2/337.short

    http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD001269/vaccines-to-prevent-influenza-in-healthy-adults-

    Keep in mind both groups are not anti-vaccine. They actually have a high opinion of some vaccines but see little value in the seasonal influenza vaccine. Try to get your doctor to even read their work. He will probably call you names and in some cases refuse to treat you. They now want to force all health care workers to get the seasonal influenza vaccine or be fired and refuse to discuss anything that doesn’t back their position.

    Science for sale is a huge problem in society and it isn’t limited to climate research.

  51. highflight56433 says:

    In 1989, the petroleum-based solvent, benzene, that is known to cause cancer, was found in Perrier mineral water at a mean concentration of fourteen parts per billion. This was enough to cause Perrier to be removed from supermarket shelves. The first process in the manufacture of margarine is the extraction of the oils from the seeds, and this is usually done using similar petroleum-based solvents. Although these are then boiled off, this stage of the process still leaves about ten parts per million of the solvents in the product. That is 700 times as much as fourteen parts per billion.
    You may be interested in a list of the ingredients that may be present in butter and margarine:
    Butter:
    milk fat (cream),
    a little salt
    Margarine:
    Edible oils,
    edible fats,
    salt or potassium chloride,
    ascorbyl palmitate,
    butylated hydroxyanisole,
    phospholipids,
    tert-butylhydroquinone,
    mono- and di-glycerides of fat-forming fatty acids,
    disodium guanylate,
    diacetyltartaric and fatty acid esters of glycerol,
    Propyl, octyl or dodecyl gallate (or mixtures thereof),
    tocopherols,
    propylene glycol mono- and di-esters,
    sucrose esters of fatty acids,
    curcumin,
    annatto extracts,
    tartaric acid,
    3,5,trimethylhexanal,
    ß-apo-carotenoic acid methyl or ethyl ester,
    skim milk powder,
    xanthophylls,
    canthaxanthin,
    vitamins A and D.

    The point here is industry (both civil and public) creates a myth through the science they pay for with scientists who would keep their job rather than quit on principle. Huge profits are gained in duping the public who trust the words “science” and “scientist.” We argue the myth of CAGW while swallowing the lies of, for example, margarine and canola oil, or cholesterol lowering statins. Many people do not take the time to read, many can’t read or can’t tell a lie from truth, so they rely on what they see and hear from free media or their trusted doctor who is basically owned by insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, and the AMA.

    The Kool-Aid gets drank and “…Dominant Theories Monopolize Research and Stifle the Search for Truth.”

  52. Zeke says:

    How would adding a court of experts and academics be of any help in lifting the inertia in scientific paradigms caused by experts and academics? In economics, that would be like issuing another mandate to make a mandate work.

    We have long trusted academics and experts with the duty of educating our children, with deciding what laws governing the Universe, and many of us do whatever a doctor says, so we lay down our very own bodies.

    Greater individual responsibility and less trust in experts would bring about undrempt of possibilities, and an unimagined renaissance of science. But the scientists, experts and academics, one and all, are devoted to the reversal of progress, to making decisions for people “for the public good,” and are deeply indoctrinated in the idea that there are too many people on this earth. Anyone who believes that does not really mean any one else well, although he flatters himself that he does, and will reveal it by acting to reverse scientific progress and reduce choices best made by the individual. You will know them by this, not by their fair sounding words concerning “public good.” All scientists will be severely tested and tempted in this elite doctrine and opportunity for personal gain and standing, and a few will come forth as gold.

    The frontiers now before us with instantaneous worldwide communication exceed even the discovery of new continents, and the discovery of AC power combined, but to use it will require individual liberty and rationality, and a refusal to accept the words of elite academics and experts unconditionally. They are just as freighted with their own metaphysical commitments and taste for political gain as everyone else. We have learned this and a new frontier beckons. Electricity, water, cattle, crops, fire and earth are plentiful for all, and a gift to all.

  53. John West says:

    Surely we don’t really want some science court proclaiming from on high what is and is not “consensus” or acceptable science. It hasn’t been too long ago I remember some scientists dismissing a particular scientist’s views on climate based on his view on creationism. What if we had dismissed Newton based on his views on Alchemy? Personally, I believe in creation by evolution; this IMO does not require any distortion of the physical evidence and is what I believe the Elohim account of creation is attempting to describe with a limited vocabulary and other challenges. Nevertheless, I don’t dismiss everyone who doesn’t agree with me on that particular subject with respect to all other subjects. Indeed, as a sort of Preterist, I’d find myself dismissing nearly everyone if I made that the vital ideology; dismissing Atheists, Agnostics, most Christian denominations, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc. etc. It’s that type of dogmatic behavior that should be ridiculed by the science “industry”. For example, if a scientist uses the word “denier” then every scientist, science correspondent, and science consumer should ridicule and denounce such activity. If we did this universally and consistently I think we could move science back away from being a new religion/ideology into being a system/process for understanding the universe and gaining knowledge where it should be. JMHO.

  54. mfo says:

    At present various governments have committees which hold their own science courts, such as the hearings before the subcommittee on oversight and investigations of the committee of energy and commerce, House of Representatives into questions about the hockey stick, on July 19 and 27 2006.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-109hhrg31362/html/CHRG-109hhrg31362.htm

    Despite all the doubts about CAGW and Mannian hockey stick science, nothing is achieved other than the continued showering of billions of dollars of taxpayers money into the hands of scientists and assorted parasites to continue researching science which a supposed consensus believes has already been settled.

    Why not spend the money on known, very serious and rapidly increasing problems such as dementia? The World Health Organisation estimated that there were 36 million dementia sufferers around the world in 2010. The number of people suffering from dementia is expected to triple by 2050. Climatologists included.

  55. highflight56433 says:

    The AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics require that patients receive informed consent about all reasonably effective treatments. “The patient’s right of self-decision can be effectively exercised only if the patient possesses enough information to enable an intelligent choice. The physician has an ethical obligation to help the patient make choices from among the therapeutic alternatives consistent with good medical practice.”

    However, the ethics of medicine is not all together practiced to the full wordy extent. The following statin effects was listed by Pfizer on their own web site; however it has been removed to “hide” the real danger of their product:

    “The following adverse events were reported, regardless of causality assessment in patients treated with atorvastatin in clinical trials:

    Body as a Whole: Chest pain, face edema, fever, neck rigidity, malaise, photosensitivity reaction, generalized edema.

    Digestive System: Nausea, gastroenteritis, liver function tests abnormal, colitis, vomiting, gastritis, dry mouth, rectal hemorrhage, esophagitis, eructation, glossitis, mouth ulceration, anorexia, increased appetite, stomatitis, biliary pain, cheilitis, duodenal ulcer, dysphagia, enteritis, melena, gum hemorrhage, stomach ulcer, tenesmus, ulcerative stomatitis, hepatitis, pancreatitis, cholestatic jaundice.

    Respiratory System: Bronchitis, rhinitis, pneumonia, dyspnea, asthma, epistaxis.

    Nervous System: Insomnia, dizziness, paresthesia, somnolence, amnesia, abnormal dreams, libido decreased, emotional lability, incoordination, peripheral neuropathy, torticollis, facial paralysis, hyperkinesia, depression, hypesthesia, hypertonia.

    Musculoskeletal System: Arthritis, leg cramps, bursitis, tenosynovitis, myasthenia, tendinous contracture, myositis.

    Skin and Appendages: Pruritus, contact dermatitis, alopecia, dry skin, sweating, acne, urticaria, eczema, seborrhea, skin ulcer.

    Urogenital System: Urinary tract infection, urinary frequency, cystitis, hematuria, impotence, dysuria, kidney calculus, nocturia, epididymitis, fibrocystic breast, vaginal hemorrhage, albuminuria, breast enlargement, metrorrhagia, nephritis, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, urinary urgency, abnormal ejaculation, uterine hemorrhage.

    Special Senses: Amblyopia, tinnitus, dry eyes, refraction disorder, eye hemorrhage, deafness, glaucoma, parosmia, taste loss, taste perversion.

    Cardiovascular System: Palpitation, vasodilatation, syncope, migraine, postural hypotension, phlebitis, arrhythmia, angina pectoris, hypertension.

    Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders: Peripheral edema, hyperglycemia, creatine phosphokinase increased, gout, weight gain, hypoglycemia.

    Hemic and Lymphatic System: Ecchymosis, anemia, lymphadenopathy, thrombocytopenia, petechia

    REFERENCE:

    http://www.lipitor.com/cwp/appmanager/lipitor/lipitorDesktop?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=prescribingInformation#contraindications

    (No longer a valid link)

  56. Zeke says:

    You know, the Precautionary Principle is an ancient religion also.

    “One morning [the Titan Prometheus] came to Zeus, and said, ‘Oh Thunderer, I do not understand your design. You have caused the race of man to appear on earth, but you keep him in ignorance and darkness.’

    ‘Perhaps you had better leave the race of man to me,’ said Zeus. ‘What you call ignorance is innocence. What you call darkness is the shadow of my decree. Man is happy now. And he is so framed that he will remain happy unless someone persuades him that he is unhappy. Let us not speak of this again.’

    But Prometheus said, ‘Look at him. Look below. He crouches in caves. He is at the mercy of beast and weather. He eats his meat raw. If you mean something by this, enlighten me with your wisdom. Tell me why you refuse to give man the gift of fire.’

    Zeus answered, ‘Do you not know, Prometheus, that every gift brings a penalty? This is the way the Fates weave destiny – by which gods also must abide. Man does not have fire, true, nor the crafts which the fire teaches. On the other hand, he does not know disease, warfare, or old age….He is happy, I say, happy without fire. And so shall he remain.’” ~Evslin, Evslin and Hoopes

  57. Joachim Seifert says:

    This is a very important topic: Does dogmatism (thus Warmism) “stiffle the search of truth?”….
    There is no better headline to describe the misery of present day climate research…
    Here we are at the very bottom of climate science…..dogmatism yes or no? …Since the Kyoto protocol there was no more warming, at least no 0.2C warming per
    decade as forecast….the computer models, the greatest intellectual achievement of mankind,
    foresaw 0.2 C temp increase per decade…. but we are on the flat temp plateau since KYOTO,
    flat temps NOT FORECAST by one single “forecast model”….
    Doubt and scepticism is the logical consequence: How can someone reckon he is right AFTER
    our death in 2100, and at the same time: he is incapable to forecast temps fore the next five years?
    Any forecast, which dares to provides numbers 100 years ahead of today, must be
    correct for the next 5 to 10 years…..as the paper:

    http://www.knowledgeminer.eu/eoo_paper.html

    where an exact forecast is given, without any if’s, might’s. would’s and assorted
    conjunctives…. straight to the facts…..JS

  58. Betapug says:

    Climate modeller, Dr Andrew Weaver’s candidacy for political office with British Columbia’s Green Party, which opposes “Smart Meters” (made necessary by the unreliable nature of “sustainable energy” sources) with the literal “tinfoil hat” concern about the “toxic electromagnetic wave emissions” highlights the essentially non-scientific basis of AGW dogmatism.

    Check the degree of acceptance of Green theology in one of Vancouver’s two major newspaper’s editorial and the depressing survey results: http://blogs.theprovince.com/2012/05/03/editorial-b-c-hydro-should-let-homeowners-opt-out-of-smarts-meters/

    The puzzle of AGW supporters, whose belief in the objectivity and incorruptibility of climate scientists working for “Big Green” effortlessly coexists with infinite distrust of medical scientists working for “Big Pharma”, is essentially a doctrinal point. It is written that those things that flow from one shining source (government) are pure. Those contaminated by touching capitalism are impure.

    Climatism offers all the appeals of the fading western religions, a well organized path for philanthropic impulses to boost your self esteem, to be a missionaryt, save your fellow man, to “make a difference” and to free yourself of the burden of doubt and introspection by accepting the “settled science” orthodoxy of the consensus priesthood. It offers all the ‘forcing” tools of the traditional religions as well. Fear, guilt, peer pressure, the chance for redemption by sacrifice, all supported by a massive amount of colourful visual aids.

    Anyone who has put $500 into Al Gores collection plate to attend a “training” and borne witness to an altar call for 12 year olds to come forward and dedicate their lives to “saving the planet” would recognize the environment.

  59. Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says: They say if it cannot be quantified it cannot be managed or scored. What they forget to say is if it can be quantified and scored someone will figure out a way to cook the books.

    Well said.

    David Bailey says: …I’d be cautious about pursuing the analogies with the other issues discussed in Henry Bauer’s book – not because they may not be valid, but because warmists will try to smear you by association [my emphasis]. Likewise, I’d say that someone running a website devoted to cold fusion (say), would be well advised to avoid the climategate controversy.

    Well said. Having said which, I am working overtime to try to solve this issue or at least move it on. My least favourite of all Wikipedia’s pages is the one on “pseudoscience”. That expresses my sentiment mildly.

    Glad to see Halton Arp’s story being told again here. It needs repeating.

    Thank you Anthony for hosting this article. It’s a winner as far as I am concerned, an important find, and I have enjoyed reading comments too. I need to contact Bauer direct!

  60. Don says:

    TRM says:
    November 5, 2012 at 9:53 am

    “Today you have doctors like Dr Dzugan treating high cholesterol as a symptom of low hormone levels with almost 100% success rate and yet you have virtually every doctor out there prescribing statins to treat the symptom. I think he will eventually win a Nobel Prize like Dr. Barry Marshall”

    A good example, yet perhaps Dr. Dzugan is merely finding the right answer to the wrong question. The cholesterol theory of heart disease is popularly misunderstood and likely erroneous, just as nearly everything “we” recently “knew” about dietary fat was wrong. An excellent starting point re a more plausible relationship of lipids, including cholesterol, to atherosclerosis can be found here:

    http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Does-Cholesterol-Cause-Heart-Disease-Myth.html

  61. Nice one Henry. It wasn’t obvious how to obtain the ebook from the link provided, but Amazon’s whispernet sent it immediately to my Kindle.

  62. Happens all to often and all to much. I have written any number of essays addressing just such foolishness. It is not only wrong headed to allow dogmatic thinking to overpower the skeptical questioning of science. It is downright dangerous to our mental and physical health too.

  63. Stephen Pruett says:

    Great post, Dr. Bauer. I used some of your work when I helped (as part of a large team) teach a course on philosophy and ethics of research. Unfortunately, I think most institutions now offer a “research ethics” course that is designed to meet (just barely) the requirements of funding agencies, so philosophy of science is something that most Ph.D.s in biomedical sciences know nothing about. My bet is that less than one percent of them could explain why their degree is called Doctor of philosophy. Sad…

  64. drjohngalan says: I was fascinated to see “cold fusion” quoted as one of the items on the list here. I had the privilege to have been a student of Martin Fleischmann in the late ’60’s and know that he was neither a charlatan nor a procurer of “pathological science”.

    thank you Dr Galan.

    Another poster here alerted me to “cold fusion” material being examined at MIT last week (thanks!). In three days time I go to a conference with the Breakthrough Energy Movement where I hope to hear the latest on this score (cold fusion aka LENR) and other “fringe” developments along the lines of post-Tesla etc.

  65. highflight56433 says:

    The cholesterol hypothesis has been largely driven over the past few decades by the lucrative
    business of selling cholesterol lowering drugs. What has been forgotten is that the
    cholesterol laden plaques that block arteries are a symptom of heart disease, not a cause.
    The underlying metabolic abnormalities leading to cardiovascular disease are:
    • Free radical pathology
    • Nutritional deficiencies
    • Nutritional promoters of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
    • Stress
    • Inadequate exercise
    • Prostaglandin imbalance
    • Hormone imbalance
    • Genetics

    Increasing CVD is an event that started in the 1950’s, right along with the increased use of so called “healthy” fat free diets laden with invented fats with high trans-fatty acids. One could say that CVD is caused by increased atmospheric CO2 via some familiar logic we see in CAGW.

    Nowhere is the failing of our medical system more evident than in the wholesale acceptance of
    cholesterol reduction as a way to prevent disease; have all these doctors forgotten what
    they learned in biochemistry 101 about the many roles of cholesterol in the human
    biochemistry? Every cell membrane in our body contains cholesterol because cholesterol
    is what makes our cells waterproof; without cholesterol we could not have a different
    biochemistry on the inside and the outside of the cell. When cholesterol levels are not
    adequate, the cell membrane becomes leaky or porous, a situation the body interprets
    as an emergency, releasing a flood of corticoid hormones that work by sequestering
    cholesterol from one part of the body and transporting it to areas where it is lacking.
    Cholesterol is the body’s repair substance: scar tissue contains high levels of cholesterol,
    including scar tissue in the arteries.

    Cholesterol is the precursor to vitamin D, necessary for numerous biochemical processes
    including mineral metabolism. The bile salts, required for the digestion of fat, are made
    of cholesterol. Those who suffer from low cholesterol often have trouble digesting fats.
    Cholesterol also functions as a powerful antioxidant, thus protecting us against cancer
    and aging.

    Cholesterol is vital to proper neurological function. It plays a key role in the formation of
    memory and the uptake of hormones in the brain, including serotonin, the body’s feelgood
    chemical. When cholesterol levels drop too low, the serotonin receptors cannot
    work. Cholesterol is the main organic molecule in the brain, constituting over half the
    dry weight of the cerebral cortex.

    Finally, cholesterol is the precursor to all the hormones produced in the adrenal cortex
    including glucocorticoids, which regulate blood sugar levels, and mineralocorticoids,
    which regulate mineral balance. Corticoids are the cholesterol-based adrenal hormones
    that the body uses in response to stress of various types; it promotes healing and
    balances the tendency to inflammation. The adrenal cortex also produces sex hormones,
    including testosterone, estrogen and progesterone, out of cholesterol. Thus, lowering
    cholesterol, whether due to an innate error of metabolism or induced by cholesterol lowering
    diets and drugs can be expected to disrupt the production of adrenal hormones and lead to blood sugar problems, edema, mineral deficiencies, chronic inflammation, difficulty in healing, allergies, asthma, reduced libido, infertility and various reproductive problems ( http://www.westonaprice.org/moderndiseases/statin.html ).

    It does not take long to find similar science around lucrative cancer treatment, where science is for profit, and profit pays for scientists.

  66. highflight56433 says:

    ..guess I should use Word to
    edit so the
    paragraphing is
    correct. :)

  67. Spence_UK says:

    Is this author seriously suggesting that HIV causing AIDS is dogma? I appreciate people can be right on one thing and badly wrong on another, but that is a bridge too far for my liking.

  68. Dan in California says:

    From the long quote of Henry Bauer:
    “Statements, press releases, and formal reports from these bodies often purport to convey scientific information, but in reality these releases are best viewed as propaganda designed to serve the corporate interests of the bureaucracies that issue them.”

    There seems to be a lack of understanding of the difference between pure and applied science. Corporations do applied science to promote their products and services. The science *should* be directed toward the company’s bottom line. Otherwise, why waste the money?

    It’s the corruption of pure science by government agencies that’s getting out of hand. The cold fusion topic is one example that is getting a lot of mentions here, so I direct you to a youtube video of the US Navy speakers at a cold fusion convention.

    It’s dry and …. scientific, but it clearly shows many types of experimental evidence. These people do not have an axe to grind.

  69. LRshultis says:

    Edohiguma:
    It was ‘childbirth fever’ not ‘childhood fever’. Mothers were dieing from doctors and midwives not washing their hands well.

  70. bones says:

    Add the black hole to the dogmas of physics. It is apparently not widely known, but there is an infinite number of perfectly mathematically valid solutions of Einstein’s field equations for the empty space surrounding a point mass with no physical basis for choosing one rather than another. A “black hole” solution with a particular finite radius for the event horizon has been adopted as correct, but there is no physical reason for preferring it. In the meantime, NASA claims to discover new black holes almost daily despite the fact that no shred of evidence has ever been found which would demonstrate that the spacetime geometry around them is that of a black hole.

    In many respects, it matters little that a black hole paradigm has been chosen in lieu of any other understanding of how matter can become so compact as in the observed black hole candidates. The thing that is wrong with this is that a big government agency pushes and defends this dogma so ferociously.

  71. LRshultis said @ November 5, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Edohiguma:
    It was ‘childbirth fever’ not ‘childhood fever’. Mothers were dieing from doctors and midwives not washing their hands well.

    Actually childbed fever (puerperal sepsis).

  72. Spence_UK says:
    November 5, 2012 at 12:51 pm
    Is this author seriously suggesting that HIV causing AIDS is dogma? I appreciate people can be right on one thing and badly wrong on another, but that is a bridge too far for my liking.

    I skimmed his site on the subject a couple of years ago. Apparently, IIRC, he thinks that HIV is a necessary (usually) condition, but that some other condition is usually necessary too. IOW, HIV isn’t normally a sufficient condition. Mostly he’s arguing that the science isn’t as settled as it’s made out to be.

  73. joe arrigo says:

    You would think science, by definition, would be immune to dogmatism. At least that’s the way I’ve always viewed it. Yet, as this article points out, even scientists can “cling” to a belief in the name of science. Because science is our path to truth, it must be protected against such bias.

  74. Crispin in Seoul says:

    @DirkH

    “But of course. Zwicky invented Dark Matter in the 50ies to explain the stable rotation of the galaxies and they’ve been looking for it ever since. But everybody in mainstream science accepts its existence as a fact.”

    My (late) mathematician friend David Garcia-Andrade was particularly bugged by the invention of Dark Matter rather than to admit gravity varies with distance. In his book, “Casting paradox out of Cantor’s paradise” he corrects several errors in the very foundation of mathematics saying that the reason progress was so limited in mathematics is because of the refusal to correct (known) basic mistakes made by Cantor.

    Anyone who has struggled with infinite series has done so because it is fundamentally flawed. One money quote is, “There is no such thing as ‘different sizes of infinity’. Infinity is a verb not a noun. It is like comparing apples and eating.”

    You can’t bake a good mathematical cake when one of the ingredients is ‘stupid’.

  75. Spence_UK says:

    Roger, I’m afraid that still makes little sense.

    Yes, there are other causes of AIDS; but AIDS is a rare syndrome ordinarily, and there is very clear evidence (both empirically and from a biological mechanism viewpoint) that HIV leads to AIDS.

    The mechanism through which HIV leads to AIDS is well understood, and the current epidemic in parts of Africa leave absolutely no question on this. Sadly, many quacks have claimed there is no link, leading to people experimenting with stopping antiretrovirals, which not only shortens their own life, but increases the risk to those around them (since the antiretrovirals reduce the viral load and reduce the likelihood of them spreading the disease).

    This is a serious matter and one which I do not take lightly. While I have no problem questioning science, when that leads directly to harming peoples health (as it can in this instance), I’m afraid I have to call out that quackery.

  76. Mark says:

    I don’t know of any dogma in fusion research. I mean, granted it’s always been 40 years away, but still… :P . The problem with cold fusion I think is more to do with the many charlatans and ignorant types who claim to have discovered it… when you get enough of them, it’s easier to just say “what a load of rubbish” and leave it at that.

    As for the others listed… hmm. I think the ones with the most dogma attached are the ones with the greatest media exposure (now there’s a surprise). Take second-hand smoking – whether it’s harmful or harmless doesn’t matter if you can seize it as an issue to ban more smoking for some people. WRT HIV/AIDS… I suppose it’s possible that you could get AIDS (or failing that, something with very similar symptoms) through other means, but if 99.9…% of all cases of AIDS can be traced back to sex with someone who was HIV+ (or any of the other vectors HIV can use), and that IS a known cause… yeah. At some point you have to say “sure it may be possible, but hey, even if it’s right, it’s morally better to leave that to one side while we deal with the very real issue of HIV-caused AIDS”.

  77. Greg Cavanagh says:

    re: ferd berple November 5, 2012 at 7:41 am
    quote “…vidence for new ideas is being held back by government institutions?”

    For anybody working in a government job; Policy is God.

    Once a policy is in place, its one hell of a battle to nullify it, if that is even possible. More enduring than stone is a policy, regardless of how inappropriate it is.

  78. _Jim says:

    Lucy Skywalker says November 5, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    and other “fringe” developments along the lines of post-Tesla etc.

    That dog doesn’t hunt; not one repeatable, verified, experiment has been reported where magnets/magnetism have been used to actually arrive at ‘o-ver-un-ity’ energy production (e.g. in the so-called “Rosemary Ainslie Circuit”). The young, inexperienced ‘garage’ experimenters in that field don’t understand the energy exchange in resonant circuits (between the inductor and the capacitor or the ‘strays’ involving those components) and which remain un-revealed so long as they rely on slow-response meters like DMMs and avoid the use of dynamic-display instrumentation like oscilloscopes (which have been involved in the real sciences since the 1930’s) which would allow them to ‘integrate the area under the curve’ and make power and energy measurements on the odd ‘waveforms’ they see in their circuit … unlike LENR where ‘excess heat’ **has** been reported and demonstrable time and time again …

    Lucy, I’ll bet, is unaware of the ‘work’ (of course?) in industry specifically in the field of switching power supplies (over the last +30 years or so, beginning first in the military market), where, should ‘excess energy’ production ever have been observed during input-output energy efficiency measurements during development product *ALL EYES* in the engineering department would have been ALL OVER those circuits TO DETERMINE where this ‘excess energy’ was being developed! Trust me, these kinds of things draw the attention of engineers!!

    You see Lucy, this *stuff* isn’t that hard to measure. Science isn’t like the field of ‘divining’ or fortune-telling where genealogy (one’s lineage to one’s forefathers and grandmothers!!!) is ‘said’ to play the important part in one’s abilities, rather, with science, it’s a matter of the application of one’s mind, the application of logic and the application of the field of metrology (the science of measurement) to make these judgement calls of ‘fake’ or ‘real’ …

    .

  79. D Böehm says:

    We can see how Policy is currently being implemented here:

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/50524

  80. Johannes Wolfram says:

    My disillusionment with science arose when I was in graduate school and spent about three months failing to reproduce a reaction originally published by a “big name in science”. When I finally gave up and approached my supervisor, his glib response was “they probably faked their results”. The most striking part of his response was his attitude: it conveyed to me the fact that he considered faking results as being nothing unusual.
    On another topic, my understanding (from anecdotal sources) is that the AIDS epidemic in Africa is really an agglomeration of all the diseases of poverty; these receive minimal funding from the various international aid agencies. However, AIDS attracts bucket loads of money; therefore the African health services have learned to classify any diagnosed endemic disease as “AIDS”, and thereby get funded. The actual incidence of AIDS is apparently very low.

  81. tobyglyn says:

    Spence_UK says:

    ” While I have no problem questioning science, when that leads directly to harming peoples health (as it can in this instance), I’m afraid I have to call out that quackery.”

    Here’s a link to Peter Duesberg’s site. I don’t really think it is fair to accuse him of quackery and the are many parallels in the HIV/AIDS story and climate change alarmism.

    http://www.duesberg.com/

    Welcome to Peter Duesberg’s HIV/AIDS research web site.
    Peter H. Duesberg, Ph.D. is a professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Biographical Sketch

    He isolated the first cancer gene through his work on retroviruses in 1970, and mapped the genetic structure of these viruses. This, and his subsequent work in the same field, resulted in his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1986. He is also the recipient of a seven-year Outstanding Investigator Grant from the National Institutes of Health.

    On the basis of his experience with retroviruses, Duesberg has challenged the virus-AIDS hypothesis in the pages of such journals as Cancer Research, Lancet, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Science, Nature, Journal of AIDS, AIDS Forschung, Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapeutics, New England Journal of Medicine and Research in Immunology. He has instead proposed the hypothesis that the various American/European AIDS diseases are brought on by the long-term consumption of recreational drugs and/or AZT itself, which is prescribed to prevent or treat AIDS. See The AIDS Dilemma: Drug diseases blamed on a passenger virus.

  82. Alex Heyworth says:

    That’s a famous surname, Johannes. Any relation to Stephen?

  83. Spector says:

    Here is an example of what Richard Martin (Super Fuel) calls “Technological Lock-in,” similar to what happened with the “IBM PC.”

    In this case the Thorium Molten Salt Reactor project was cancelled and discarded in favor of a more conventional reactor design. The scientists say they were ordered to halt all work immediately and no funding was going to be provided for properly decommissioning the experimental reactor. Years later, the say, the site had to go through a very expensive clean up operation because of that omission. See dinner conversation below at the 15 minute mark:

    ORNL Thorium Molten Salt Reactor Experiment Researchers –
    Dick Engel & Syd Ball – Dinner & Interview :

    “Published on Sep 28, 2012 by gordonmcdowell”
    53 likes, 1 dislike; 4,345 Views; 34:07 min
    “Dick Engel and Syd Ball explain over dinner (and a post-dinner interview) their involvement with Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s thorium molten salt research. Why are molten salt reactors important? Were there any significant challenges? Why was the program shut down?”

    * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Kirk Sorensen produced a fast pace video that goes into the political details (including recordings of President Nixon) that explains why this program was shutdown to focus all work on the more conventional Sodium Fast Breeder reactor. One driver for these projects was a belief that uranium was rapidly being depleted and so some form of ‘breeder’ reactor was going to be required. It is important to note that the real technological advantage here is the liquid fueled reactor concept that allows almost all fuel and dangerous long-lived transuranic wastes to be consumed and the only reason for going to all the trouble to use thorium is a lack of uranium that is not yet a problem, especially as liquid fueled reactors are so efficient. Canadian, Dr David LeBlanc’s great applause line was “Come for the thorium, stay for the reactor.” The solid fuel rods of current light water cooled reactors must be replaced after only a small portion of the fuel is consumed because they cannot contain the dangerous internal nuclear waste that has been generated. I understand that both reactor types produce the same amounts of the more benign short-lived (<300 yr) hot fission fragment waste.

    The Thorium Molten-Salt Reactor: Why Didn’t This Happen
    (and why is now the right time?)

    “Uploaded by GoogleTechTalks on Dec 22, 2011″
    601 likes, 16 dislikes; 52,273 Views; 36:02 min
    Google Tech Talk
    December 16, 2011
    Presented by Kirk Sorensen

  84. Spector says:

    Minor correction to my last post: for (>300 yr) read (less than 300 yr)

  85. tobyglyn says:

    Also re Duesberg.
    Climate change skeptics are familiar with this sort of treatment and language.
    “The tenured professor of molecular and cell biology — who said he has been called “homophobic” and a “mass murderer” in the past for his beliefs — elicited further controversy after the publication of his most recent article in a scientific journal sparked the resignation of a member of the journal’s editorial board.”
    and:
    “People who deny the causality of AIDS are denying reality,” said Jeff Sheehy, director for communications at the UC San Francisco AIDS Research Institute, in an email. “I know individuals infected with HIV who are dead because they believed denialists and … initiated treatment too late to save their lives.”
    and:
    “Duesberg said his beliefs have limited his academic career on campus. He has been teaching a laboratory course since 1987 and claims he was restricted by other faculty from giving a lecture for more than 20 years.”

    http://www.dailycal.org/2012/02/22/uc-berkeley-professor-denies-link-between-hiv-and-aids/

  86. Johannes Wolfram says:

    Alex Heyworth says:
    November 5, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    That’s a famous surname, Johannes. Any relation to Stephen?
    =============================================================
    No, no relation.

    However, I understand that one of my namesakes was instrumental in the establishment of the transdimensional law firm “Wolfram & Hart, Attorneys at Law”.

    I suspect that our good buddy Mickey Mann would be well served if he retained their services.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfram_%26_Hart

  87. Rather than a science court, victims of abuse of the scientific method of inquiry need their own pressure group. For a few million US$ per year we could have one.

  88. Mike Haseler says:

    I recently wrote a paper after attending a Royal Society Meeting (link) and tried to find instances of where the Royal Society as an institution had contributed to science. Strangely such events were very rare, and one of the few exceptions was the setting up of a network of meteorological stations. Indeed, there is a notable early example of the Royal Society hampering the development of early time pieces (by John Harrison) which allowed accurate measurement of longitude, because the dominant thought was that this would be achieved via astronomical measurements (of small movement on the moon relative to stars with longitude).

    So, I wonder how much of this criticism is “cherry picking” recent examples of problems. However, on the other side, I have noticed a marked slow-down in the speed of development of physics in that the whole subject changed in the early 20th century, but it has remained almost unchanged (at University entrance level) since.

  89. _Jim says, November 5, 2012 at 4:52 pm: Lucy Skywalker says November 5, 2012 at 12:21 pm: … and other “fringe” developments along the lines of post-Tesla etc.

    That dog doesn’t hunt; not one repeatable, verified, experiment has been reported where magnets/magnetism have been used to actually arrive at ‘o-ver-un-ity’ energy production
    ……………..

    _Jim, As an electrical engineer I completely agree with you. You are right. But Lucy is a Skywalker and wanders free. Don’t spoil her fun!

  90. Alex Heyworth says:

    Crispin in Seoul says:
    November 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm
    My (late) mathematician friend David Garcia-Andrade was particularly bugged by the invention of Dark Matter rather than to admit gravity varies with distance. In his book, “Casting paradox out of Cantor’s paradise” he corrects several errors in the very foundation of mathematics saying that the reason progress was so limited in mathematics is because of the refusal to correct (known) basic mistakes made by Cantor.

    Google doesn’t want to find either your friend or his book. Any hints?

  91. _Jim and David Socrates

    Your comments are noted and your goodwill is appreciated. I reserve however the right to observe things for myself too! Why, these days, even on youtube one can discover extraordinary things if one goes “skywalking” – and not all are fakes – but one has to look carefully because some people delight in making fakes, as with Crop Circles.

    _Jim says “Science isn’t like the field of ‘divining’ or fortune-telling where genealogy (one’s lineage to one’s forefathers and grandmothers!!!) is ‘said’ to play the important part in one’s abilities, rather, with science, it’s a matter of the application of one’s mind, the application of logic and the application of the field of metrology (the science of measurement) to make these judgement calls of ‘fake’ or ‘real’ …”

    Two problems here. First, you simply state one view of the ideal of Science, it is certainly not its reality in practice – which is the subject of Bauer’s book here. Second, you refer to “divining” in a way that suggests your ignorance of the subject, or perhaps your information from sources that are against it – whereas, for good science’s sake, you should be able to refer to sources both for and against – and the best you can find on both sides. I’ve never met or read of a diviner focussing on genealogy – this subject belongs far more to biology, biochemistry, sociology and psychology.

    All of the great scientists for whom I have profound respect have also had respect for both sides of Reality, both the inner and the outer, and the sometime appearance of strange anomalies that beat the normal laws of physics. Bauer is such a man. All that is required is to apply the apparently contradictory faculties of openness and discernment, and to pay very careful attention.

  92. DEEBEE says:

    First get the Government into science. Then when it [snip] up science, then get a science court. Then get an ombudsman to monitor the court and on an on goes the tower of babel.

  93. rathnakumar84 says:

    I request the author to list some respectable dissenters of Big Bang Cosmology (In case of CAGW, the list will be something like Richard Lindzen, Bob Carter, Ian Plimer, …) … Thank you!

  94. ps
    Some readers here might think I am a bit naively drawn into “funny” stuff sometimes. I’ve noticed however that often people are unwittingly talking about themselves rather than the “other” they appear to be talking about, if they have not developed enough self-awareness. People here see this clearly when it comes to Lewandowsky, but closer to home is harder to spot.

    I let the impressions stay partly because I know that the time is coming that more mainstream Science needs to open up to a very great deal of “funny stuff” which is already being researched in abundance on the edges – sometimes, it is true, with naivety, sometimes even with intent to deceive – but that is not the whole story and the baby should not be thrown out with the bathwater. That is not a truly scientific approach! However, the “funny stuff” touches areas where many people have irrational dislikes and rejections – a telltale sign is OTT behaviour. We see this with both Leif and his opposite number, Geoff Sharp.

    From the beginning of Science, scientists tended to keep the “funny” side of their work hidden – or it got hidden for them by subsequent “followers”, as is the case with Newton and Clerk Maxwell. But we damn well need to grow up. There is important material here.

    The other side of my work is that I fight for the good observational science seen here, typified by such as Anthony Watts and Bob Tisdale, in “green” and “alternative” and “orthodox” circles which need disabusing of their fantasies.

    What all the sides of my work have in common is paying attention. Thus I look at both the external evidence and at my internal reactions. Over the years, this builds good habits which are fundamentally aligned to Scientific Method.

  95. Bauer made four “anti-trust” suggestions:

    1. Allocate 10% of public R&D money to contrarians.
    2. Appoint contrarians to advisory & grant-giving panels.
    3. Create a Science Court to advise legislators considering legislation involving scientific issues to arbitrate between mainstream & contrarian claims.
    4. Appoint ombudsmen to journals, foundations, and government agencies.

    Bauer’s footnote 39 referenced a bibliography of writings about the science court idea, but its link has gone bad. I Googled for: “Science Court: A Bibliography” and got four useful links at the top of the page:

    1. Science Courts… and Mixed Science-Policy Decisions

    http://ipmall.info/risk/vol4/spring/taskfor.htm

    The Science Court Experiment: An Interim Report*:
    (* Reprinted with permission from 193 Science 654 (1976))
    Task Force of the Presidential Advisory Group on Anticipated Advances in Science and Technology**
    (** The task force is composed of three members of the presidential advisory group — Dr. Arthur Kantrowitz (chairman), Dr. Donald Kennedy and Dr. Fred Seitz – and [16 others])

    2. The Science Court is Dead; Long Live the Science Court!

    http://ipmall.info/risk/vol4/spring/field.htm

    3, Symposium Index – The Science Court – Pierce Law Center IP Mall

    http://ipmall.info/hosted_resources/RISK_Symposium_ScienceCourt.asp

    4. The Science Court: A Bibliography. Jon R. Cavicchi*.

    http://ipmall.info/risk/vol4/spring/bibliography.htm

    =================
    I’ve taken a quick peek at these and am very impressed. I’ll return later with more to say. Critics of the Science Court idea should check out what’s actually been proposed.

  96. PS: Here’s the link to the Amazon page for the book, where one can download the Kindle version for $15, which I’ve done. (Sorry if this link has been given before–I don’t remember seeing it.)

  97. rathnakumar84 says:
    November 6, 2012 at 3:18 am
    I request the author to list some respectable dissenters of Big Bang Cosmology (In case of CAGW, the list will be something like Richard Lindzen, Bob Carter, Ian Plimer, …) … Thank you!

    Bauer’s book gives this link to the names; many subsequent signers have been added: http://www.cosmologystatement.org/

  98. Jessie says:

    TRIM @9.53

    The other matter in the discussion of the seasonal flu vaccine, at least to my observations in Australia is…workforce/labour issues.
    The vaccination is offered to employees in the government services, thus maintaining a [unionised] workforce of ‘public health’ and OH&S pseudo-specialists. The regulatory control which the ‘new public health’ exerts over the populace, backed often by poor research methodology & methods, is quite amazing. Everything from packaging tobacco in olive green packets through to control of playground equipment & installation. The list is endless. As is the research cohort which has developed to support this ‘industry’. Victoria (State of Australia) has a massive local government public health enterprise, Queensland (another State) being second.

    Roger Knight, thank you for your insightful and interesting comments which I have read over the past few days.

  99. I’m 10% thru Bauer’s new book. It’s an easy read. Here’s a link to the Amazon page where all his books are listed:

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Henry%20H.%20Bauer&ie=UTF8&search-alias=books&sort=relevancerank

  100. TonyG says:

    Bob Kutz says:
    Wow . . . I had no idea this was happening in BBT Cosmology or string theory . . .

    Someone else may have mentioned this (haven’t read all comments yet) but as for string theory, “The Trouble with Physics” addresses groupthink in that field.

  101. Leo Morgan says:

    I am uncomfortable with the list of critiques of conventional science given above.
    I’m satisfied that most of the critiques will turn out to be mere crackpottery.
    One should keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out. With Climate Science the forecasts have been proven wrong, and I am satisfied that the errors were produced by documented incompetence and political partisanship pretending to be objective science. I have not seen these same errors repeated in medicine or most other fields.
    For myself, the deciding factor with statins was the observation that my brother, a medical professional made. The United Kingdom trained many cardiac surgeons in anticipation of increased demand from their aging population, but since the introduction of statins, these surgeons are a glut on the market. I’ve been taking statins since.
    I don’t deny that extrra exercise would be good for me- but in fact the little I do is almost as much as I can manage. The statins may well be a life-saver for me as for so many other people.

  102. Duster says:

    rathnakumar84 says:
    November 6, 2012 at 3:18 am

    I request the author to list some respectable dissenters of Big Bang Cosmology (In case of CAGW, the list will be something like Richard Lindzen, Bob Carter, Ian Plimer, …) … Thank you!

    That particular approach to argument is rather invidious, if one disputes “consensus” science on empirical grounds, one is not respectable. If one is not respectable, then one’s arguments are not worth attention, regardless of how well founded they are empirically. That appears to be either religious or philosophical logic.

    It implies that if one, as a scientist, prefers empirical content to empty theories, one is out of step and no longer respectable? You need to reexamine the standard model and note the various patches and reversals that have been introduced over the decades to deal with its failings. For instance, dark matter, dark energy, inflation, … Every one of these is a “patch” on the theory to try and bring it into agreement with empirical observations. Even so, there are empirical observations that simply are not discussed. Arp’s paired high z and low z objects with apparent matter streams connecting them are a good example. One might argue that the “connections” are the result of image processing, but to do so calls into question other images where gas streamers are considered “real.”

  103. Leo Morgan says:
    November 6, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I am uncomfortable with the list of critiques of conventional science given above.
    I’m satisfied that most of the critiques will turn out to be mere crackpottery.

    In addition to the big three critiqued by Bauer (CAWG, HIV/AIDS, and the Big Bang), these other dogmas were presented in ch. 4 of his new book:

    * The efficacy of anti-depressant drugs
    * The Clovis People as the first Americans
    * Cometary Dinosaur extinction
    * Rejection of Cold Fusion
    * Second-Hand smoke as dangerous (but he should have distinguished between intimate and casual exposure to such smoke. The case against the former is stronger than against the latter.)
    * Plate techtonics (the theory needs revising–which the mainstream won’t accept. Perhaps the earth is expanding (!))
    * Molecular-shape theory of the sense of smell
    * Amyloid theory of ALzheimer’s disease
    * Brain-based theories of schizophrenia (he favors genetic ones)
    * The supposed Innocuousness of mercury in dental fillings & vaccines (He must be wrong about the last being potentially a danger, IMO–but he mentions it only briefly)
    * String theory
    * Special theory of relativity (Wow–out on a limb there!)
    * Misc. Physics & Astronomical heresies catalogued by Corredoira & Perelman (2008)
    * The frequentist approach to statistics (in ch. 7, which I haven’t reached yet)

    The one striking example he missed was the monopolist / intolerant dominance of “behaviorism” in American psychology for decades.

  104. oops–in the penultimate entry in my list of Bauer’s collection of monopolistic thinking (above), I meant to say,
    “” Rejection of misc. Physics & Astronomical heresies …”

  105. johanna says:

    Quoted above:

    http://www.duesberg.com/

    Welcome to Peter Duesberg’s HIV/AIDS research web site.
    Peter H. Duesberg, Ph.D. is a professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Biographical Sketch

    He isolated the first cancer gene through his work on retroviruses in 1970, and mapped the genetic structure of these viruses. This, and his subsequent work in the same field, resulted in his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1986. He is also the recipient of a seven-year Outstanding Investigator Grant from the National Institutes of Health.

    On the basis of his experience with retroviruses, Duesberg has challenged the virus-AIDS hypothesis in the pages of such journals as Cancer Research, Lancet, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Science, Nature, Journal of AIDS, AIDS Forschung, Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapeutics, New England Journal of Medicine and Research in Immunology. He has instead proposed the hypothesis that the various American/European AIDS diseases are brought on by the long-term consumption of recreational drugs and/or AZT itself, which is prescribed to prevent or treat AIDS. See The AIDS Dilemma: Drug diseases blamed on a passenger virus.
    ——————————————————–
    Sorry, Duesberg is a nutter.

    What on earth is a ‘cancer gene’? There is no such thing.

    And, if he seriously suggests that people who got HIV/AIDS from contaminated blood transfusions were all secret long-term recreational drug users, he has several screws loose.

  106. Spence_UK says:

    Well said, Johanna. I guess Duesberg believes Rhesus monkeys that die of AIDS aftering being infected with SIV must be drug addicts as well. And thank you for being one of the few reasonable voices on this thread.

    Sadly, this type of article will do a great job of reinforcing the idea that climate change sceptics are a bunch of nutters in the minds of moderate people who are scientifically literate.

  107. Rathnakumar says:

    “Even so, there are empirical observations that simply are not discussed. Arp’s paired high z and low z objects with apparent matter streams connecting them are a good example.”
    An interesting article on this subject by Dr. Rob Knop is found here – http://scientopia.org/blogs/galacticinteractions/2011/01/14/one-of-astronomys-pet-crackpot-theories-non-cosmological-quasar-redshifts/#comments

  108. Brian H says:

    drjohngalan says:
    November 5, 2012 at 7:43 am
    You might be interested in a somewhat (less severe) example from the other end: Ultra-hot fusion, restrained by a “kink” in magnetic effects which produce a quantum window of opportunity. LPPhysics.com . Tiny fusion events in the bn-degree range, held back from dispersal by giga-Gauss transient fields. Allowed by current theory, but previously neglected.

  109. tobyglyn says:

    @johanna and Spence_UK

    Strawmen arguments and accusations of insanity are very familiar responses to climate scepticism too.

    I don’t think either of you have actually read any of his stuff. Some of it is very interesting and worth a read.

    Also, google has some interesting results for cancer gene.

  110. johanna says:

    tobyglyn:

    There is no such thing as a ‘cancer gene’ or an anything else ‘gene’. A gene is not a particle with specific characteristics. Please educate yourself about this before putting your foot further into your mouth.

    No doubt, google has interesting results for the ‘cancer gene’, just as it has for ‘alien abduction’ and ‘faked moon landing.’

  111. The title should have been:
    Nonsensus: Sanctioned Science’s Groupie Groupthink, Dodgy Dogmas, and Managed Mainstream

    This isn’t as accurately descriptive as the current title. But to make a sale, one must sell the sizzle—and my version sizzles. The current title doesn’t. (If desired, append the current title as a second-level sub-title. Some books have them.)

    Other possible title-fragments are:

    Designated Dogmas
    Dug-In Dogmas
    Waist-Deep in the Mainstream (or “Waist-Deep in the Big Bunker”)
    Groupies, Grants, and Gamesmanship: The Swinging Science Scene Today
    Bureaucratized Science
    Sciency

    The book was published in May 2012, one month after Donna LaFramboise’s Delinquent Teenager . . . . , so it unfortunately didn’t cite the terrific ammo for his thesis provided by her book.

    More later.

  112. This is probably better–shorter and more pointed:

    Dominating Dogmas and Guided Groupthink: Sanctioned Science’s Nonsensus

  113. This is a variation on the above, but “sanctified” may be too much of a sneer:

    Dominating Dogmas and Guided Groupthink: Sanctified Science’s Nonsensus

  114. Here’s my latest, and best, title suggestion. Its subtitle is more descriptive and incorporates phrases from the current title. I changed certain words in the interest of alliteration, to create a sizzler of a title:

    Sanctioned Science: Dominant Dogmas, Rote Research, and Trampled Truth

    “Sanction” means “1 the act of ratifying, ratification, confirmation by superior authority.”

    “Sanctioned Science” implies that scientific bureaucracies at the national and international level (superior authorities) either:

    1) issue pronuncimentos on certain scientific issues thereby establish or reinforce dominating dogmas that marginalize dissenters, and/or
    2) restrict funding to “rote research” (that consistent with the dogma), thus
    3) trampling on the search for truth. (I had to shorten that phrase for brevity’s sake.)

  115. Final version—I hope:

    Sanctioned Science: Designated Dogmas, Rote Research, and Trampled Truth

    I changed the third word from “Dominant” to “Designated” in order to mesh better with “Sanctioned” (sanctioning designates the anointed dogma) and because the phrase “designated dogmas” has got pizzaz.

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