Thursday, June 02, 2005

How to spot Currupt Science

Two things in particular signal the presence of corrupt science. The first is the fact that rather than working from hypothesis and data to conclusion, corrupt science starts with a mandated political conclusion and then uses this conclusion as the basis for determining what evidence, what data is to count as relevant. It is science that begins not with a question but with an answer and which sees its only task as providing the evidence that supports that answer. The second is that corrupt science misrepresents the nature of what it seeks to explain. Rather than acknowledging alternative evidence, or problems with its evidence, or admitting the complexity of the issue and the limits of evidence, it presents what is at best a carefully chosen partial truth as the whole truth necessary for public policy. Public policy is effectively manipulated into reaching a predetermined outcome on the basis of data that has been carefully chosen, falsified or massaged so as to speak in a fashion that is at odds with the ways things really are.

Another powerful reason why you need good math skills. This is only a rule of thumb and things may change.


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