Monday, July 16, 2007

In science, predictions aren’t drawn from one’s own superior genius. Neither are they dreamt one fine night. That works for religion, not for science. What prediction should come from is logic. However, even logic has its limitations.

Wrong predictions, ideas or theories are in a way permissible because if there is a logical flaw, the idea will be discredited or rejected sooner or later. Rather, many times, people get credit for doing so, and therefore, wrong theories don’t remain in practice forever.

Wrong data however, persists as people can’t deny anything about things that are posed as facts. I will give a simple, fictitious example that comes from my area of study. The theory of why it’s beneficial for wasps to have seven legs rather than six can be logically broken down in a single blow. However, if someone says, they have come across a population of wasps with seven legs, it’s impossible to break that down logically except by simply calling it a fraud.

Don’t think for a second that scientists are holy men practicing apotheosis. Lazy, conscienceless scientists not only generate wrong data willingly, they often push it for publication(s). If they are lucky enough (which is very often the case), it does get published and sometimes labeled as a path-breaking discovery. Once it’s published, there’s absolutely nothing that can be done about it. Absolutely NOTHING! It’s frightening. Not only that. If it were a common and interesting enough topic, people working in the same area would start quoting and referencing that bullshit piece of work as well.

There has to be a course in ethics and principles for every researcher, there should be tough and secure publication rules in place and there should be more stringent reformatories for those who practice this kinda science.


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Alok said...
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