Should scientists be legally accountable for deceiving the public?

Well, should scientists be legally liable for deceiving the public and manipulating the evidence to support their OWN brliefs based on untrue claims and unsupported by scientific evidence?

 

175 thoughts on “Should scientists be legally accountable for deceiving the public?

  1. I believe, that there has to be accountability set for science that is not really science, but it is presented as such….

    I personally believe it will not change…because it has been abused since Copernicus…depending on who was in power and liked what…

    I’m sorry but there is no hope in this department…. Materialist are going to promote their propaganda and the ID’s theirs…both selling books and getting rich…

    Both systems depend on each other… Why would one allow the other to fail?

  2. Rumraket,

    Sure… I don’t mind… when you explain how the vents got god-like creative abilities..which we have been waiting for all our life, then we will buy it..

    When you don’t, where should we send you for your evaluation?

  3. J-Mac: Sure… I don’t mind… when you explain how the vents got god-like creative abilities..which we have been waiting for all our life, then we will buy it..

    The Book of The Most Holy Sea Vents says so.

  4. J-Mac: I personally believe it will not change…because it has been abused since Copernicus…depending on who was in power and liked what…

    Pro or con Copernicus?

  5. This is a very dangerous proposal! I would be happy to suggest that if a scientist truly manufactured data it may be realistic to prosecute them — especially if that data produces clear harm. (For instance, if a drug researcher actively hides the harm that a medication can produce.)

    However, in the context of this blog, the temptation to prosecute those who hold alternative views would arise. This temptation is truly evil. Let us not shut up alternative voices with criminal prosecution.

  6. brucefast:
    This is a very dangerous proposal!I would be happy to suggest that if a scientist truly manufactured data it may be realistic to prosecute them — especially if that data produces clear harm.(For instance, if a drug researcher actively hides the harm that a medication can produce.)

    Good example — though even here a lot could depend on whether the fraudulent science was used to guide policy, and that people were harmed as a result. But to the best of my knowledge, no one has suggested that even Andrew Wakefield be prosecuted. (I am willing to be stand corrected on this claim.)

    However, in the context of this blog, the temptation to prosecute those who hold alternative views would arise. This temptation is truly evil. Let us not shut up alternative voices with criminal prosecution.

    Agreed!

  7. Who decides?

    What court do you propose?

    What criteria would guide that court?

    What problem are you trying to solve?

  8. Pedant,

    He’s trying to persuade us to accept a set of principles that would (he thinks) open Darwinian biologists to prosecution, because he thinks that Darwinian biologists have “deceived the public” and have “manipulated the evidence to support their OWN brliefs based on untrue claims and unsupported by scientific evidence”. And he thinks that because he doesn’t understand what Darwinism is and isn’t. And he doesn’t understand Darwinism because he’s a creationist.

  9. J-Mac,

    I believe, that there has to be accountability set for science that is not really science, but it is presented as such….

    I have read several papers on both evolution and global warming. The only issue I have seen is that universal common descent is treated as an a priori assumption. I have not seem any that clearly mis represent the data.

    In the case of global warming it seems to be the promoters like Gore that mis represent the science. The papers themselves are solid as far as I have seen. I hope that peer review would properly police these papers most of the time.

  10. colewd,

    The only issue I have seen is that universal common descent is treated as an a priori assumption.

    You are one slow mofo. Universal common descent is an established scientific result, not an assumption.

  11. Kantian Naturalist: But to the best of my knowledge, no one has suggested that even Andrew Wakefield be prosecuted.

    I think that’s correct. He has lost all credibility as a scientist. And from the perspective of science, that’s appropriate. If he were prosecuted, that would be for directly deceiving the public, rather than for his fraudulent scientific report.

  12. The more pressing question, I think, is whether there should be compulsory malpractice insurance for all self-proclaimed ‘mental health workers.’

  13. J-Mac,

    […] when you explain how the vents got god-like creative abilities

    It’s a puppet. The operator makes it look as if the puppet is talking by ‘throwing his voice’ – meaning really, he’s just learnt, through hours of practice, to speak without moving his lips, and alternate between his own and the puppet’s voice in a convincingly conversational way.

  14. colewd,

    The only issue I have seen is that universal common descent is treated as an a priori assumption.

    And yet, as you have been steadfastly informed, it is not a prior assumption, but a conclusion.

  15. Allan Miller: colewd,

    The only issue I have seen is that universal common descent is treated as an a priori assumption.

    And yet, as you have been steadfastly informed, it is not a prior assumption, but a conclusion.

    Admitting that it is the vetted science that ID never can be would be to concede that he’s never dealt with these matters straightforwardly.

    Evolutionary theory came from the evidence, then was seriously debated according to the evidence, until it became accepted science. Even colewd knows much of this, but it’s too much to admit when your own beliefs are based in nothing but presupposition and confirmation bias.

    Glen Davidson

  16. keiths,

    You are one slow mofo. Universal common descent is an established scientific result, not an assumption.

    Do you really believe this? I think your emotion is way ahead of your logic.

  17. keiths:

    You are one slow mofo. Universal common descent is an established scientific result, not an assumption.

    colewd:

    Do you really believe this?

    Yes. Both sentences. Just look at the evidence.

    I think your emotion is way ahead of your logic.

    I think your emotions are way behind my logic.

  18. If UCD is in fact a mere assumption, who first made it? Why did it catch on, if it was just an assumption? Why does the mathematics of coalescence work, given that common descent is just an assumption? Or the mathematics of population sampling, which generally leads to coalescence? Why does UCD refuse to die in the light of genomic evidence not available in the 19th century?

  19. Kantian Naturalist:

    brucefast:
    This is a very dangerous proposal!I would be happy to suggest that if a scientist truly manufactured data it may be realistic to prosecute them — especially if that data produces clear harm.(For instance, if a drug researcher actively hides the harm that a medication can produce.)

    Good example — though even here a lot could depend on whether the fraudulent science was used to guide policy, and that people were harmed as a result. But to the best of my knowledge, no one has suggested that even Andrew Wakefield be prosecuted. (I am willing to be stand corrected on this claim.)

    However, in the context of this blog, the temptation to prosecute those who hold alternative views would arise. This temptation is truly evil. Let us not shut up alternative voices with criminal prosecution.

    Agreed!

    And yet you think that there should be laws against insulting religious ideas. Those two view are not aligned. Also, you have still not demonstrated how suppression of speech is objectively moral.

  20. keiths,

    Yes. Both sentences. Just look at the evidence.

    Have you looked at the evidence of the origin of the eukaryotic cell? This is the first hurdle for the UCD hypothesis. Good luck explaining this occurred through cell division and endosymbiosis alone.

    Maybe Mung and Miller can the judges on the quality of the “just so” story you come up with 🙂

    Or maybe you can come up with some probability calculations to support your claim

  21. Allan Miller,

    If UCD is in fact a mere assumption, who first made it? Why did it catch on, if it was just an assumption? Why does the mathematics of coalescence work, given that common descent is just an assumption? Or the mathematics of population sampling, which generally leads to coalescence? Why does UCD refuse to die in the light of genomic evidence not available in the 19th century?

    UCD was an inference made by Darwin as an alternative to creation. His argument was that it was easier to explain than creationism.

    Van Fraassen’s Critique of Inference to the Best Explanation
    Samir Okasha*

    It is dying. Just slowly. The molecular evidence does support some level of descent across species if we assume we understand genome function and that is a stretch at this point given there is a 70% gap in argument for genome function. It does not however support critical transitions like.
    -eukaryotic cell
    -multicellular life
    -land animals
    -mammals
    -humans

  22. “Should scientists be legally accountable for deceiving the public?”

    If distributing erroneous scientific information were criminal, Ken Ham would get the death penalty.

    Facing long sentences, all the UD/DI people would try to plead Diminished Capacity. And they’d have a strong case.

  23. colewd:
    Allan Miller,

    UCD was an inference made by Darwin as an alternative to creation.His argument was that it was easier to explain than creationism.

    Like hydrology is an alternative to river gods?

    Creationism has no explanation, and is no explanation. Why don’t you quit with the canned creationist BS about evolution being an alternative to something that is no explanation at all?

    It is dying.Just slowly.

    Really? What’s replacing it? Your magic? You have nothing at all.

    The molecular evidence does support some level of descent across species if we assume weunderstand genome function and that isa stretch at this point given there is a 70% gap in argument for genome function.It does not however support critical transitions like.
    -eukaryotic cell
    -multicellular life
    -land animals
    -mammals
    -humans

    Oh really? Same damned sort of evidence across all of those transitions that exists across species. Of course you ignore that evidence and use your false dilemma to pretend legitimacy for magic, but that’s all creationists can do, misrepresent and ignore the evidence.

    Your bad thinking is no argument against the science.

    Glen Davidson

  24. Patrick: And yet you think that there should be laws against insulting religious ideas. Those two view are not aligned. Also, you have still not demonstrated how suppression of speech is objectively moral.

    If I recall correctly, my claim was that it should be illegal to burn copies of the Qu’ran, which not the same as “speech” or insulting an “idea”. In fact, I had a lengthy conversation with friends of mine whose political views are very similar to mine, and they all thought that I was wrong. They agreed with me that it is wrong to burn copies of the Qu’ran, but they all thought that making it illegal would involve giving too much power to the state. That now seems right to me.

    Still, just because you have the right to do something, doesn’t mean you should. There can be all sorts of things that we’re permitted to do because the state shouldn’t prohibit us from doing, but which are still morally wrong.

  25. Kantian Naturalist: If I recall correctly, my claim was that it should be illegal to burn copies of the Qu’ran, which not the same as “speech” or insulting an “idea”.

    Your recollection is way off:

    I’d be willing to endorse a law that says that the holy texts should be treated with respect by everyone, regardless of whether you share that religion or not, just as a law that enforces a reasonable degree of politeness.

    Law to respect holy books

    Maybe you didn’t mean it, but clearly the statement was that the law would be that respect for holy texts would be demanded of everyone. That you’ve backed off from what you recollect recommending is encouraging, otoh.

    Glen Davidson

  26. GlenDavidson: Maybe you didn’t mean it, but clearly the statement was that the law would be that respect for holy texts would be demanded of everyone. That you’ve backed off from what you recollect recommending is encouraging, otoh.

    Thanks — for both the citation of what I said (I really had forgotten) and for suggesting that I’m moving in a better direction on this issue. I think that when I’d said “treated with respect” I really was thinking about what was being done to holy texts, not about what was being said about holy texts. Obviously (or indeed, not obviously) I have no problems with people making claims about the Qu’ran that Muslims would object to.

  27. colewd,

    Common descent fits the evidence literally trillions of times better than creationism, unless you propose that the Creator is an obsessive and precise evolution mimic. (And good luck justifying that arbitrary assumption.)

    That clearly disappoints you. Your religion is goofy, and you’d love to have a scientific justification for clinging to it. That ain’t gonna happen.

    Get used to it. You’re a gullible guy, scientifically unskilled, who is insecure about his faith and longs for some indication that it is actually true.

    No such indication is forthcoming. If you want to believe, you’ll need to do so for bad reasons.

  28. KN,

    Obviously (or indeed, not obviously) I have no problems with people making claims about the Qu’ran that Muslims would object to.

    Yet you’re on record saying this:

    I don’t think that non-believers have any business criticizing religious beliefs as such. Non-believers have a right to criticize religious beliefs only when believers are drawing upon their religious beliefs in order to justify public laws and policies that non-believers are also obliged to follow (including, as noted above, protected legal status attaching to religious communities).

    Have you also abandoned that position?

  29. keiths,

    Common descent fits the evidence literally trillions of times better than creationism, unless you propose that the Creator is an obsessive and precise evolution mimic. (And good luck justifying that arbitrary assumption.)

    That clearly disappoints you. Your religion is goofy, and you’d love to have a scientific justification for clinging to it. That ain’t gonna happen.

    Get used to it. You’re a gullible guy, scientifically unskilled, who is insecure about his faith and longs for some indication that it is actually true.

    No such indication is forthcoming. If you want to believe, you’ll need to do so for bad reasons.

    So you punted on the challenge of coming up with a “just so” story on the first transition supporting common descent. I don’t blame you the project is really hard.

    You appear high on propaganda but void of argument and evidence. Thats ok I get lots of political propaganda on Facebook that is no different then your fact-less defense of UCD. All that said I still think you are supernatural 🙂

  30. Wow, really?
    Shall we also prosecute those who, for various reasons, do not reveal science results that are correct? The tobacco industry failed to disclose the link between smoking and lung cancer. Exxon has known about global warming since the 1980’s. Results of privately sponsored studies are often not published if they are unfavorable to the sponsor and its products. Shall we also prosecute those who promote religious belief that cannot be empirically demonstrated to be true?

  31. colewd,

    You appear high on propaganda but void of argument and evidence. Thats ok I get lots of political propaganda on Facebook that is no different then your fact-less defense of UCD.

    Do you have any idea how idiotic it is to claim that this is a “fact-less defense of UCD”?

  32. keiths,

    Do you have any idea how idiotic it is to claim that this is a “fact-less defense of UCD”?

    Did I make that claim? I said your last post was a fact-less defense. You have cited the Theobald paper which provides evidence supporting common descent. Do you have any skepticism of this paper or do you just accept it at face value? Do you have any skepticism that this paper while supporting evidence of common descent does not support universal common descent. For universal common descent Theobald wrote an argument in another paper. A paper that may support the supernatural status of keiths if you by its probability analysis 🙂

  33. colewd,

    Tell us exactly where Theobald’s arguments fail. Quote him specifically and include your analysis of his missteps.

    For maximum embarrassment, you could attempt it in a new OP.

    You ran away yesterday. Doing so again would really disappoint Jesus. Don’t let him down.

  34. colewd,

    UCD was an inference […]

    Let me stop you right there. It cannot be both an inference and an assumption. And, indeed, wasn’t. The idea that common descent is simply Darwin’s alternative to Creationism is ridiculous. It was a conclusion from relationship data available at the time, from a temporal extension of the relationships apparent throughout taxonomic ranks – today’s orders were yesteryear’s families which were yesteryear’s yesteryear’s genera, etc – and from consideration of the implications of a lengthy process of anagenesis, cladogenesis and extinction.

    He didn’t conclude universal common descent anyway – he conceded a single or a few origins. The latter required investigation, which has been done.

    I’d love to see you prosecute the hypothetical scientist on this count.

  35. colewd,
    We have what we have and it’s the best we have. If you have something better that explains the observed evidence better then what we have then I’ll swap over to that thing at once. It’s the logical thing to do.

    colewd, what do you have that explains the observed evidence better then common descent?

  36. OMagain: colewd, what do you have that explains the observed evidence better then common descent?

    This could be phrased better,

    Allan Miller: He didn’t conclude universal common descent anyway – he conceded a single or a few origins. The latter required investigation, which has been done.

    Fer instance.

  37. Addressing the OP:

    Should scientists be legally accountable for deceiving the public?

    Are they not? Have scientists some specific immunity against legal action?

  38. keiths,

    Tell us exactly where Theobald’s arguments fail. Quote him specifically and include your analysis of his missteps.

    For maximum embarrassment, you could attempt it in a new OP.

    You ran away yesterday. Doing so again would really disappoint Jesus. Don’t let him down.

    Theobald arguments are based on molecular and phylogenetic evidence where similarities are compared. His statistical analysis are based on random variation as an a priori assumption. Since he discards any mechanism from his analysis transitions are not explained. Common descent is a claim about transitions. Without an explanation of how transitions occurred you don’t have a theory.

    from his paper:In this essay,

    universal common descent alone is specifically considered and weighed against the scientific evidence. In general, separate “microevolutionary” theories are left unaddressed. Microevolutionary theories are gradualistic explanatory mechanisms that biologists use to account for the origin and evolution of macroevolutionary adaptations and variation. These mechanisms include such concepts as natural selection, genetic drift, sexual selection, neutral evolution, and theories of speciation. The fundamentals of genetics, developmental biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, and geology are assumed to be fundamentally correct—especially those that do not directly purport to explain adaptation. However, whether microevolutionary theories are sufficient to account for macroevolutionary adaptations is a question that is left open.

    Do you have a supernatural explanation why he dropped mechanisms from his analysis 🙂

  39. OMagain,

    colewd, what do you have that explains the observed evidence better then common descent?

    Common descent does explain some of the evidence just not all of it. The best alternative for the evidence that common descent does not explain is design. The interesting discussion is how much of the diversity that we observe can be attributed to design or descent.

  40. Allan Miller,

    Let me stop you right there. It cannot be both an inference and an assumption.

    It can’t be an assumption based on an inference? Did you read the paper I cited?

    BTW there has been a challenge to Theobald on multiple origins.

    The question of whether or not all life on Earth shares a single common ancestor has been a central problem of evolutionary biology since Darwin1. Although the theory of universal common ancestry (UCA) has gathered a compelling list of circumstantial evidence, as given in ref. 2, there has been no attempt to test statistically the UCA hypothesis among the three domains of life (eubacteria, archaebacteria and eukaryotes) by using molecular sequences. Theobald2 recently challenged this problem with a formal statistical test, and concluded that the UCA hypothesis holds. Although his attempt is the first step towards establishing the UCA theory with a solid statistical basis, we think that the test of Theobald2 is not sufficient enough to reject the alternative hypothesis of the separate origins of life, despite the Akaike information criterion (AIC) of model selection3 giving a clear distinction between the competing hypotheses.

    The real problem with Theobald’s test is that it assumes random change as the mechanism. If you look at his analysis critically it renders OOL impossible with odds less than 1/10^1000 based on his comparative analysis of the origin of eukaryotic cells.

    This would ensure keiths supernatural status even if UCD was completely true 🙂

  41. GlenDavidson,

    Only if you ever come up with the first bit of solid evidence for design.

    -DNA
    -Proteins
    _Ribosome
    -Spliceosome
    -Flagellum motor
    -electron transport chain
    -photosynthesis
    -human brain
    -respiration
    -muscle structure

  42. keiths,

    You ran away yesterday. Doing so again would really disappoint Jesus. Don’t let him down.

    Who was your mentor in manipulation tactics?

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