Saturday, August 28, 2010

Why I like Science

Why do I like science? My reason is simple, if you make stuff up, some other smart scientist will eventually figure it out. Your ideas, your methodology, you conclusions, all of it must stand up to outside scrutiny. It keeps people honest in a way that religion can never hope to approach. Harvard researcher Marc Hauser found this out recently. He’s been accused of fabricating data.

“Given the published design of the experiment, my conclusion is that the control condition was fabricated,” said Gerry Altmann, the editor of the journal Cognition, in which the experiment was published.

Dr. Hauser said he expected to have a statement about the Cognition paper available soon. He issued a statement last week saying he was “deeply sorry” and acknowledged having made “significant mistakes” but did not admit to any scientific misconduct.

In science and academia, it’s not oops, my bad. It’s oops, there goes my career. If this allegation is true, Hauser is finished and so are his theories. Show me the equivalent in religion? It does not exist.

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