Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Errors scientists may make

To an extent, I realized that some fields of science proceed only by consensus instead of scientific arguments. This is unfortunately true.

Consensus usually gets things wrong in science because whatever everyone may agree upon may turn out to be completely wrong.  There are many examples such as the ultraviolet catastrophe, or more recently black hole information paradox.  Things get even worse in research fields for which there are not much experiments available, e.g. quantum gravity. There are many versions of quantum gravity but usually any discovery using one version of the theory may generate strong reactions from people working on the other versions of the theory and most of the times the discussions between the scientists go out of any scientific measure. This sometimes makes a discovery not even be published, which is obviously unfair. Sometimes peers take an illegitimate step to engineer a wall in front of papers written in a version of quantum gravity for the purpose of drying the field out. Arguments in the peer reports turn instead of being "no-physical-evidence-for-the-discovery" to "correct-calculation-based-on-wrong-theory"! Even the peers may advise the authors to change their field and no longer burn themselves in the field.

Science is often presented as an objective pursuit, but the modern academia is unhealthy and cannot afford all novel ideas.

And this is only my thought.

1 comment:

deepak said...

The herd mentality contains the seeds of its own destruction. Members of the herd learn the hard way that blindly following their leader simply leads them into dead ends. Slowly but surely they abandon the old leadership and search for new guidance. This is when, those who stayed out of the limelight while perfecting their work in anonymity, get the chance to shine. Of course, all this happens very slowly and can be extremely frustrating. The only other option is to forfeit your intellectual integrity and join the herd. But that will never be as much fun as going your own way. Hang in there, Mohammad. Your time is on its way :-)