Another test for bogus science and bogus history


In a post I missed back then, science writer Chet Raymo sets a standard for how science can leave the “bogus” category:  He says intelligent design can start to be called “science” when the first paper is published retracting another, previous paper, that was since found to be in error.  Raymo wrote:

Here is my litmus test for science.

In the October 7 issue of Science, the weekly journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Robin Allshire, of the prestigious Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology at the University of Edinburgh, offers a retraction for a paper previously published in the journal, titled “Hairpin RNAs and retrotransponson LTRs effect RNAi and chromatin-based gene silencing.” He admits that his laboratory and others have been unable to reproduce the results reported in the paper.

When we see the first peer-reviewed experimental data supporting intelligent design or astrology that is reproducible in other laboratories by skeptics and believers alike, then these hypotheses can make a legitimate claim to being sciences.

When we see the first published retraction, we will know that intelligent design or astrology has reached maturity as a science.

Of course, the same is true for bogus history.  Corrections made when error is found suggest that there is care for accuracy, and that the author has no great stake in the story other than getting the facts right to get the correct understanding.

I’ll have to revise the list, here, and here.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Catholic Sensibility.

Please play nice in the Bathtub -- splash no soap in anyone's eyes. While your e-mail will not show with comments, note that it is our policy not to allow false e-mail addresses. Comments with non-working e-mail addresses may be deleted.

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