The World Is in the Middle of a Reproducibility Crisis in the Sciences
Recently in a private forum, someone talked about how the Earth is passing through a dark matter “Hurricane.” And one of my friends pointed out that it’s kind of interesting that we’ve moved from science discovering things you could see, touch, understand, and use to produce results, to the kind of nebulous theory that can never be completely proven or disproven.
In fact, apparently, no one is even absolutely sure that dark matter exists. But we have think tanks that instead of, say, assuming our theory of gravity might not be precisely true, posit dark matter to explain the discrepancies.
It’s kind of like the idea of parallel universes, say, which has become at least somewhat accepted, but which can never be proven or disproven.
And if it were just that, what my younger son (who is taking that kind of class) calls “physics when it becomes religion” wouldn’t be such a big deal.
But it is not.
We have laboratories, social studies think tanks, and countless and endless “experiments” going on, most of them paid for by the bountiful purse of Uncle Sam. And most of them irreproducible.
In fact, in an age of “evidence-based medicine,” which means, in practice, medicine where someone can cite some study to support what they want to do/is cheaper/fits their (mostly silly) Marxist ideas, most studies even in the hard sciences are non-reproducible.
This is not casting shade on the real scientists, who, yes, might take government money, but work very hard at making their study rigorous and absolutely reproducible. Heck no. Those people are important. They’re also a dying breed. The system encourages “science-to-order” generating things like the hokey hockey stick graph and thousands upon thousands of studies that are the equivalent of “climate science” or worse, rather than studies that are actually useful and applicable.
This is, in general, because government gets what it pays for, and what it pays for is the conclusions it wants. This is, of course, worse in the softer sciences, but it’s very bad in all sciences. Which is why the world is in the middle of a reproducibility crisis (though these guys would rather we called it a problem), i.e. studies that when examined are wholly made up, or severely fudged.
Needless to say, this kind of fudged research that can’t be reproduced is very bad in the hard sciences. I mean, which of you wants a surgeon to go in and remove your tonsils because that will make your immune system stronger because some study shows…? Yeah, exactly what they did to me and my generation, and the exact opposite of what works. So, yeah, none of us wants that. We also don’t want new super-duper rocket fuels that don’t work at all. Or Solyndras that are financed by government, cost us millions of dollars, and produce nothing. (Okay, that was straight-up fraud, but I’m sure there are studies saying that solar energy can replace fossil fuels because there are studies saying practically everything.)