fredag 10 oktober 2014

There is more than enough time to consider all theses

Test runs comparing the chances of peer review publication shows no significant difference between serious papers and deliberate hoaxes. Examples of such hoaxes include the peer review publication of an article claiming that christian prayer reduced the risk of childbirth lethality in women regardless not only of their religion but also even if they did not know that someone was praying for them, and an article approved by many peer review boards claiming that a substance found in common lichens was a cure for cancer. Rather, it is part formal writing style and part random chance that determines what papers are peer review published and what papers are not. This means that, contrary to what pre-publication peer review advocates claim, pre-publication peer review is not a nonsense filter at all. It just slows down the flow of publications. No wonder that the belief that such systems are somehow "necessary" have caused and still keeps causing a stagnation of the generation of useful theoretical change! And the claim that it would "not be enough time" to debunk all nonsense without pre-publication peer review both committs a logical fallacy and is empirically wrong. The logical fallacy is to assume that the publication of nonsense must be some sort of constant. Ever considered that the usage of "you did not publish it in a peer review journal" instead of valid to the point criticism and/or assumptions that people who make a particular claim "must" have a particular agenda may be what creates antiscientific attitudes? The empirical error is to ignore the fact that just about all websites with content considered "crackpot" that are open for comments are spammed down with "sceptic" comments calling the content "crackpot". This clearly empirically shows that there is more than enough time. Just use that time more wisely: point out reasons why an idea is wrong instead of just calling the author an idiot, and be prepared for discussions that may end up showing that some of the ideas considered "crackpot" are actually true (not all, but some, though you cannot know which of them a priori).

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