False, Flawed, and Unrepeatable — How "Science" is Losing its Aura

by Richard Peachey

During the last decade or so, the weaknesses of current experimental science have been given increasing publicity.

Below I provide a sampling of web-accessible articles from my (thick!) file titled "Questionable Science."

In the context of the origins controversy, my basic point is this: If experimental science, being done right now, can hardly be relied upon . . . then why should we feel compelled to trust claims of anti-biblical scientists regarding what may have happened in the invisibleinaccessibledistant past?

Of course, I'm not saying that scientists are generally incompetent or crooked. I'm a science graduate myself, and I love good science. But these articles certainly raise significant issues of concern.

(1) "How Science Goes Wrong" (The Economist, Oct. 19, 2013, p. 13)

(2) "Trouble at the lab" (The Economist, Oct. 19, 2013, pp. 26-30)

 NOTE: If you like the above articles, save them as "pdf" or "Web Archive". The Economist apparently allows only a limited number of free visits to their website.

Here's the front cover of the above issue of The Economist: <http://www.economist.com/printedition/covers/2013-10-17/ap-e-eu-la-me-na-uk>

(3) John Ioannidis, "An Epidemic of False Claims" (Scientific American, Vol. 304 No. 6, June 2011, p. 16)

(4) Jennifer Crocker and M. Lynne Cooper, "Addressing Scientific Fraud" (Science, Vol. 334, Dec. 2, 2011, p. 1182)

(5) (Editorial), "Through the gaps" (Nature, Vol. 489, Sept. 20, 2012, p. 335) [Sub-heading: "A 20-year campaign of scientific fraud says as much about the research community as it does about the perpetrator. The system that allowed such deception to continue must be reformed."]

(6) Brian C. Martinson, Melissa S. Anderson and Raymond de Vries, "Scientists behaving badly" (Nature, Vol. 435, June 9, 2005, pp. 737f.)

(7) Jill Neimark, "Line of Attack" (Science, Vol. 347 No. 6225, Feb. 27, 2015, pp. 938-940) [Sub-heading: "Christopher Korch is adding up the costs of contaminated cell lines."]

(8) (Announcement), "Time to tackle cells' mistaken identity" (Nature, Vol. 520, Apr. 16, 2015, p. 264)

(9) Tina Hesman Saey, "12 reasons research goes wrong" (Science News, Vol. 187 No. 2, Jan. 24, 2015, pp. 24f.) [This is a worthwhile sidebar from a longer article which is not accessible for free.]

(10) Jim Giles, "Breeding cheats" (Nature, Vol. 445, Jan. 18, 2007, pp. 242f.) [This link also provides several other articles from a Nature "Misconduct Special."]

(11) Colin Macilwain, "Scientific Misconduct: More Cops, More Robbers?" (Cell, Vol. 149, June 22, 2012, pp. 1417-1419)

(12) Sandra L. Titus, James A. Wells and Lawrence J. Rhoades, "Repairing research integrity" (Nature, Vol. 453, June 19, 2008, pp. 980-982)

(13) Richard Stone and Barbara Jasny, "Scientific Discourse: Buckling at the Seams" (Science, Vol. 342, Oct. 4, 2013, p. 57) [From this webpage, you can access several other articles in a Science special section on "Communication in Science: Pressures and Predators," including the next article below.]

(14) John Bohannon, "Who's Afraid of Peer Review?" (Science, Vol. 342, Oct. 4, 2013, pp. 60-65)

(15) (Editorial), "Con Men in Lab Coats" (Scientific American, Vol. 294 No. 3, Mar. 2006, p. 10)

(16) Michael Balter, "Data in Key Papers Cannot Be Reproduced" (Science, Vol. 283, Mar. 26, 1999, pp. 1987, 1989)

(17) Jocelyn Kaiser, "Forty-Four Researchers Broke NIH Consulting Rules" (Science, Vol. 309, July 22, 2005, p. 546) [NOTE: You'll need to scroll down to find this title nested within a collection of news items.]

(18) Monya Baker, "Blame it on the Antibodies" (Nature, Vol. 521, May 21, 2015, pp. 274-276)

(19) John Ioannidis, "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False" (PLoS Medicine, Vol. 2, No. 8, Aug. 30, 2005)

(20) Bruce Bower, "Psych studies fail replication test" (Science News, Vol. 188 No. 7, Oct. 3, 2015, p. 8)

See also Alexander Kulikovsky's worthwhile article, "Creationism, science and peer review" (Journal of Creation, Vol. 22 No. 1, 2008, pp. 44-49)