Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Vox Popoli: Scientists can't do science

One of the signs of a society in decline is the way in which its institutions are increasingly incapable of performing their primary functions. SJW convergence is one reason for decline, but declining intelligence and capability is another one. I suspect the latter may be the root cause of the latest scientific debacle.

Researchers warn that large parts of biomedical science could be invalid due to a cascading history of flawed data in a systemic failure going back decades. A new investigation reveals more than 30,000 published scientific studies could be compromised by their use of misidentified cell lines, owing to so-called immortal cells contaminating other research cultures in the lab.

The problem is as serious as it is simple: researchers studying lung cancer publish a new paper, only it turns out the tissue they were actually using in the lab were liver cells. Or what they thought were human cells were mice cells, or vice versa, or something else entirely.

If you think that sounds bad, you're right, as it means the findings of each piece of affected research may be flawed, and could even be completely unreliable.

"Most scientists don't intentionally publish findings on the wrong cells," explains one of the researchers, Serge Horbach from Radboud University in the Netherlands.

"It's an honest mistake. The more concerning problem is that the research data is potentially invalid and impossible to reproduce."

Science is not, and should never be, considered any sort of truth-metric. It can only be judged by its actual real-world results, which is to say, science that has not advanced to the state of being transformed into engineering can NEVER be relied upon.

This also demonstrates why it is so vital to construct a solid and reliable foundation, because building upon intellectual sand means the entire edifice is eventually bound to collapse.