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Thread: How would you define 'Religion'?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatmywords View Post
    In science however, who decides what evidence supports or denies a theory? If equal weight exists on both sides of that theory then a scientist is obviously going to be biased in his presentation of those facts.
    Science is not like history, or law, or politics for that matter. In those disciplines, it is often deemed acceptable to present a biased selection of the facts in order to "win" an argument. When a lawyer gets a defendent acquitted of the crime of which he was accused, he doesn't really care about whether the defendent was actually guilty or not guilty of the crime. All that matters to the lawyer is that he has won an argument and persuaded a jury.

    Science isn't about winning arguments - it is about increasing our knowledge of the natural world in a progressive and incremental manner. When you publish a scientific paper, you are expected to present evidence that you have rigorously tried to prove your research wrong, as much as evidence to support it. The journal you have submitted the paper to will send it to other experts in your field to review it - these experts may well be people who you consider to be rivals. On their advice, the journal will either accept the paper, request alterations or dismiss it.

    This system of peer review has served science well, and the proof that it works is that science continually progresses. Of course, the notion of an "unbiased" scientist is a somewhat idealised one. Scientists are human beings after all, and often a big ego will get in the way of impartiality. There are also areas of research which might be biased by commercial considerations (you mentioned clinical trials of medicines). Finally, there are outside influences - I am particularly concerned by the way that politicians have interfered in Climate Change research. Nonetheless, the system of peer review is designed to weed out such problems.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northumbrian View Post
    .... This system of peer review has served science well, and the proof that it works is that science continually progresses. Of course, the notion of an "unbiased" scientist is a somewhat idealised one. Scientists are human beings after all, and often a big ego will get in the way of impartiality. There are also areas of research which might be biased by commercial considerations (you mentioned clinical trials of medicines). Finally, there are outside influences - I am particularly concerned by the way that politicians have interfered in Climate Change research. Nonetheless, the system of peer review is designed to weed out such problems.
    So you would disagree with this statement?

    “The peer review system is breaking down and will soon be in crisis: increasing numbers of submitted manuscripts mean that demand for reviews is outstripping supply... The result is a system increasingly dominated by “cheats” (individuals who submit papers without doing proportionate reviewing), with increasingly random and potentially biased results as more and more manuscripts are rejected without external review.”

    Fixing the Peer Review Process by “Privatizing” the Reviewer Commons
    Faced with certain disaster, defiance is the only answer.

  3. #33
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    religion
    rɪˈlɪdʒ(ə)n/Submit
    noun
    the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
    "ideas about the relationship between science and religion"
    synonyms: faith, belief, divinity, worship, creed, teaching, doctrine, theology; More
    a particular system of faith and worship.
    plural noun: religions
    "the world's great religions"
    a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion.
    "consumerism is the new religion"

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