Why Most Published Scientific Research Is Wrong [Akin]

A nice explanation of one of the biggest problems affecting modern science . . .

Link to video if you’re reading by email.



I actually quite liked video, and this is coming from someone who dabbled in research. To be they fall back on some scientism near the very end.

As someone who works in the field of psychology, this video is spot on. There’s so much bogus “research” in psychology alone.

I have a terrible time with videos. Could someone give me the name of the biggest problem which is why most published scientific research is wrong? Thank you.

This is a good summary.



Good summary.

However, this is my question. Could someone give me the name of the biggest problem which is why most published scientific research is wrong? Thank you.
I happen to have difficulties with videos. Apparently, I was expecting something different. :o

I was looking for an answer beyond the obvious answer – materials and methods. Such an answer could be that the conclusion is not warranted by the evidence provided by materials and methods.:o

Selection bias. Much research has a negative outcome. But most of that then is not published. An example:

Suppose, of all scientific studies done, only 10% are studying something real which will be found by that study. Now typically of the other 90%, about 5% of those studies will give positive results but which are wrong (for other reasons actual number likely higher but bear with me). Thus about 15% of the studies will yield positive results and are probably published. But a ~third of these are wrong. If that 5% of false positives is higher (and it most certainly is), that third goes up even more.

Thank you.

Selection bias. Yes, I have seen that. However, the type of research I see is in a different field.

Yeah there are many different factors. Selection bias is big in medicine as well as softer sciences like psychology and econ. Less so in e.g. physics.

Data dredging (reframing the question until you get a positive answer) is a huge issue in the soft sciences as well.

Read “Science Set Free” by Rupert Sheldrake. There are also a lot of videos on Youtube of him discussing his arguments. One of his main points is that science is no longer a simple search for the truth. It’s been compromised by money, prestige, and promotions.

And although science makes a big deal about results being reproducible, virtually no one tries to duplicate the results: after all, if the results are correct, you have simply confirmed what has already been published. If you get different results, you’re asking for a fight, and journals aren’t really keen to publish “negative” experimental results.

In other cases Sheldrake points out, things are simply swept under the rug. For a period of about 20 years scientists around the world were getting about a 20 km/second difference in the speed of light–they all agreed it was about 20 km/second slower than the findings in the early part of the 20th c. No one knew why. But they solved the problem! How? By declaring a certain number to be the speed of light and by defining the meter in terms of the speed of light. Presto, problem solved because the definition was circular!

And of course there is the famous “Nine out of 10 doctors agree…” argument. Sure they do. But what they don’t tell you is they gave the questionnaire to a thousand sets of doctors, and sure enough, one of the 1,000 yielded a 90% agreement. Like flipping a coin a thousand times. Probably it’s going to be heads 9 times in a row at some point.

He gives a lot of other examples. Fascinating.

Sheldrake seems to base a lot of his ideas on Arthur Koestler’s 1967 book, “The Ghost in the Machine.”

Sound’s like an interesting book. I’ll see if I can find it and give it a read.

So couldn’t the same argument be used against biblical scholars/researchers…

Fantastic piece came out a few days ago, has my science social media space buzzing. Very relevant to this discussion.

Saving Science (The New Atlantis)

Here is an article about this topic in First Things (May issue of this year) It is a printed article, no video, for those who prefer this format.


Thank you sincerely.

I like to post that science is a gift from God. I will continue to say that science is a gift from God as a reminder …

As a researcher in psychology, psychologists often make great observations, but often conduct lousy research and come up with bogus conclusions. Let it be! I did learn a lot from my education, and I value much of what I’ve seen and was taught. There is some good research out there, and seeing how things work is informative, especially if you have a knack for listening and reading between the lines. For example, reading about the life of Freud made me wiser!

I’m a critic of academic “science,” but technology blows my mind, as does religion!

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