fredag 28 november 2014
It is often claimed that the number of other "peer review" articles that cite an article is a measure of the former article's quality, but that's circular reasoning. That others cite an article only proves that those who cite it think it is good, it does not prove that it is good. What causes others to cite an article may be an irrational dogma passed on in the education that is required to become egible for reviewer status in that journal. The education was originally created by people who had not themselves go that education (not before they created it). "Peer review" advocates often say that "crackpots" cite other "crackpots". But logically, that implies that "peer review" is just another "crackpot" organization, separated from other "crackpot" organizations by politization alone.
torsdag 27 november 2014
Believers in "peer review" claim that it stops nonsense from being published, but the truth is that it simply stops whatever one or more of the reviewers disagree with from being published, and that varies depending on what people happens to be the reviewers. If a theory is never published in any "peer review" journal, that does not mean that it is nonsense, it just means that opinions that disagree with that theory are very widespread in the institutions from which the reviewers are picked. The claim that "peer review" is "immune to corruption" because multiple reviewers must approve an article for it to be published ignores negative corruption. Preventing a correct theory from being published is not any better for science than publishing a false one. "Peer review" makes it easy for anyone to dishonestly stop publication of theories, preserving old incorrect ones. "Peer review" is thus just a dictatorship without dictator, in which the dictator was removed in such a way the lack of dictator did not reduce oppression. No wonder the generation of new useful theories have stagnated!
tisdag 18 november 2014
Another fatal flaw in the so-called "argument" that "there is too much nonsense around to debunk it all" (used by pre-publication "peer review" advocates) is the fact that most nonsense is merely repetitions of a few themes. For instance, denial of anthropogenic global warming relies on claiming that there is "no evidence for CO2 being a greenhouse gas" (despite spectroscopic analysis showing that CO2 does trap infrared heat radiation). So that denial is easily debunkable by anyone who have read an elementary spectroscopy book. Btw there are many environmentalists who are very concerned about chemical and radiological hazards and critical to big business for it but deny anthropogenic global warming (probably due to simple ignorance of the evidence), while some high-emission companies promote extreme alarmism of the "it's too late to do anything" type to paralyze emission reductions (and it is very bizarre that "sceptics" otherwise so very sceptical to anything conspiratory assume political motives instead of ignorance). The various claims that are somewhat arbitrarily lumped under the umbrella term "holocaust denial" all have their fatal flaws (with the exception of applied effects of philosophical disputes on whether or not humans can be considered capable of truly having any plans at all): all those millions of jews who vanished cannot be covered by the much smaller influx of people elsewhere, chemical analysis shows gas doses lethal to humans in the gas chambers, and documents show that various officers and administrators did order total eradication and that Hitler was aware of it, respectively (btw why would antisemites want to keep denying the holocaust even after such denial came to be associated with antisemitism? more likely deniers are simply ignorant). And so-called "irreducible complexity", usually in creationism/"intelligent design", uses examples that are easily debunked. For instance, simply channeling ions out of a bacterium provides some propulsion, and additions to make it more efficient can produce a bacterial flagellum. A few light-sensitive cells is better than no vision at all, a curvature gives some image (as opposed to just seeing light and dark) and the curvature can develop into a ball, a membrane at the front of the ball protects the eye, an ability to "press" the eye gives some ability to zoom, which can be improved by thickening and reshaping the membrane into a lens. The only example of "irreducible complexity" that is valid, the one about social behavior, can be explained by the intelligence of the organisms themselves and is thus not evidence for an "intelligent designer" in the sense that made "intelligent design" a cover for religious nonsense. Well, there are a few more examples of basic nonsense themes than these three, (> but not >>), but all claims that there is "too much nonsense to debunk it all" is based on a distortion by counting all applications of nonsense in slightly different applications as if they were separate basic nonsense concepts (which they are not). Most if not all proper nonsense is just a few easily-debunked concepts that neither requires "peer review" nor government regulations to debunk.